Monday, December 4, 2006

Proposed Rules of the Constituent Assembly: Insufficient in Substance

Via MLQ3 I have encoded the Proposed Rules of the Constituent Assembly below.
RULES OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
RULE I
CONSTITUENT POWER

Section 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, the Constitution may be proposed by the Congress, upon a vote of three-fourths of all its Members.

Section 2. A constituent assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution may be called by three-fourths of all Members of Congress in a resolution adopted for this purpose.

Section 3. When proposing amendments to the Constitution, Members of Congress act, not as representatives and/or Senators, but as component elements of a constituent assembly exercising constituent power which is separate and distinct from legislative power.

RULE II
OFFICERS
Section 4. A majority of all the Members of Congress sitting in a Constituent Assembly shall elect the following officers:

(a) Presiding Officer
(b) Deputy Presiding Officer
(c) Majority Floor Leader
(d) Secretary
(e) Sergeant-at-arms

Section 5. The foregoing officers shall exercise the powers and functions inherent to their respective offices.

Section 6. The Presiding Officer shall appoint the staff of the secretariat.

RULE III
QUORUM

Section 7. A majority of all the Members of Congress shall constitute a quorum to conduct business in plenary session.

RULE IV
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS AND VOTING

Section 8. Any Member of Congress may introduce to the Plenary, through the Majority Floor Leader, proposed amendments to the Constitution either as individual amendments or package of amendments.

Section 9. A majority of all the Members of Congress present shall decide whether an amendment shall be considered and voted upon individually or as a package of amendments.

Section 10. The vote of three-fourths of all Members of Congress approving individual amendments or package of amendments shall be duly recorded in a roll-call vote.

RULE V
SUBMISSION TO THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

Section 11. The Presiding Officer shall certify and submit immediately to the Commission on Elections the approved proposed amendments for ratification in a plebiscite pursuant to Section 4 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution.

RULE VI
ADOPTION OF THESE RULES

Section 12. A vote of a majority of all the members of the Congress shall be necessary for the adoption of or amendment of these Rules.

RULE VII
SUPPLETORY PARLIAMENTARY PRACTICES

Section 13. The parliamentary practices of the Philippine Assembly, the House of Representatives, the Senate of the Philippines and the Batasan Pambansa shall be suppletory to these Rules.

RULE VIII
EFFECTIVITY

Section 14. These Rules shall take effect upon the date of their adoption.
CAVEATS:

INSUFFICIENT IN SUBSTANCE!


Here is the annihilating observation:

Sections 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10 and 12 all speak of either a three fourths vote of all the members of the Congress or a simple majority vote of all the members o the Congress.

But a plain reading of these Proposed Rules cannot resolve the issue of whether these voting majorities are to be achieved by both Houses of the Congress voting separately or voting jointly. Either interpretation is allowed by these Rules and choosing one over the other is a purely arbitrary choice.

Therefore, like a man with two watches who does not know the time, these Rules settle nothing and are utterly without merit as Parliamentary Rules.

They cannot be approved because they cannot be unequivocally interpreted. Ergo, they cannot be validly implemented without an arbitrary and grave abuse of discretion.

2 comments:

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

This is rape, DJB. JDV and his congressmen are raping the nation. And I hope like Smith they are found guilty and sentenced to reclucion perpetua by the Filipino people.

ricelander said...

Joe de V (and company) is like one repugnant suitor who does all the most despicable acts to win a beautiful woman's heart. It's him like saying, " I love you too much, i will rape you!" Run, Filipinas, run!

On second thought, maybe that's how he won over his wife. hehe!