(UPDATED) FIFTY-ONE lawmakers yesterday filed House Resolution No. 1211, declaring that the Senate and House of Representatives must vote separately before any amendments to the 1987 Constitution could be introduced.

“A bicameral system of legislature mandates that the Senate and the House of Representatives always vote separately on all bills and resolutions, major or minor, national or local,” the congressmen said.

Members of the minority are determined to block the move of the majority to secure 195 signatures of congressmen on a resolution to bypass the Senate. The figure represents three-fourths of the combined membership in the House and Senate. (Under the Constitution, a vote of “three fourths of all members of Congress” is required before any amendments on the Charter could be made.)

With 51 congressmen opposing the move, the majority is left with 183 votes, leaving the move to amend the Constitution in the Lower House “virtually dead.”

Majority leader Prospero Nograles, however, said they could convince at least 17 of the 51 congressmen “to change their minds.”

The Philippine Star reported that five of the signatories did not support last year’s impeachment complaint. They are: Jesus Crispin Remulla, Luis Asistio, Oscar Malapitan, Vincent Crisologo, and Antonio Serapio.

House minority floor leader Francis Escudero said he is confident that those who signed against “the method of undertaking Charter change would stick to their convictions.”

“I have no reason to believe that those are not firm signatures. To believe otherwise or say otherwise is to insult them,” Escudero said.

The Senate on March 21 filed a similar resolution, asserting that “if measures such as those which propose to change in names of streets require that the Senate and House vote separately, with more reason that two houses of Congress should vote separately in the case of the supreme exercise of amending or revising the Constitution.” Senate, at the moment, remains the biggest obstacle to Charter Change.

The Senate also has yet to act on House Concurrent Resolution No. 26, a measure that seeks to convene Congress as a Constituent Assembly to propose amendments to the Constitution. The resolution, authored by Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula, was adopted in the Lower House on November 29.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Aquilino Pimentel Jr. earlier said the seven-man minority bloc of senators remain firm in their stand to oppose Charter Change.

“(They) should come to their senses and accept the reality that they do not have the numbers to push for Charter Change in the Senate,” he said.

Click here for the full text of House Resolution No. 1211.

The signatories are:

NPC

  • Francis Escudero
  • Darlene Antonino-Custodio
  • Ruy Elias Lopez
  • Luis Asistio
  • Rodolfo Plaza
  • Joseph Santiago
  • Juan Ponce Enrile Jr.

NP

  • Teofisto Guingona III
  • Vincent Crisologo
  • Gilbert Remulla
  • Alan Peter Cayetano
  • Justin Chipeco
  • Oscar Malapitan
  • Jesus Cripsin Remulla
  • Cynthia Villar
  • Antonio Serapio

LDP

  • Agapito Aquino
  • Benjamin Agarao Jr.
  • Rolex Suplico
  • Juan Edgardo Angara
  • Erico Fabian

PMP-KNP

  • Bai Sendig Dilangalen

PMP

  • Ronaldo Zamora

Kampi

  • Roilo Golez

LP

  • Joseph Abaya
  • Alfonso Umali Jr.
  • Henedina Abad
  • Benigno Aquino III
  • Rozzano Rufino Biazon
  • Lorenzo Tañada
  • Hermilando Mandanas
  • J.R. Nereus Acosta
  • Manuel Mamba
  • Rodolfo Bacani
  • Proceso Alcala

KBL

  • Imee Marcos

Lakas-CMD

  • Clavel Martinez
  • Robert Jaworski

Anakpawis

  • Crispin Beltran
  • Rafael Mariano

An Waray

  • Florencio Noel

Akbayan

  • Mario Aguja
  • Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel
  • Loretta Ann Rosales

Anak Mindanao

  • Mujiv Hataman

Bayan Muna

  • Teodoro Casino
  • Satur Ocampo
  • Joel Virador

Citizens in Battle Against Corruption

  • Joel Villanueva

Gabriela

  • Liza Maza

Partido Manggagawa

  • Renato Magtubo

18 Responses to 51 lawmakers block House majority’s Cha-cha initiative

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jr_lad

March 30th, 2006 at 8:36 pm

hmmm, sino kaya sa mga nasa itaas ang 17 na sinasabi ni nograles na babaligtad? 1 lang ang nakikita ko. umpisa na naman ng suhulan eto. :)

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Chabeli

March 30th, 2006 at 10:02 pm

This is interesting–LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Simple lang po ang laro: PERA o BANSA?

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scud_1975

March 30th, 2006 at 10:12 pm

50 lang? kung pagbabasehan ang numbers, parang may ideya na kung anong mangyayari sa impeachment.

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blog @ AWBHoldings.com » Blog Archive » The Chacha Choochoo Diversion?

March 30th, 2006 at 11:36 pm

[…] DJB calls the people’s initiative as a desperate move on JDV’s part, since 50 congressmen had already signed a resolution saying that a Constituent Assembly can only be called by the Senate and the House separately, dashing the hopes of JDV for a ConAss. Atty-at-Work and Hillblogger both agree on DJB’s assertion. Atty-at-Work also believes that the Supreme Court will not overturn Defensor-Santiago v. Comelec. […]

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bukolitos

March 31st, 2006 at 1:27 am

GMA will need to raise taxes again para mabawi ang gagastusin niya sa People’s initiative at suhol sa mga kongre$i$ta. Why don’t someone start a people’s initiative to recall GMA and have a snap election. Sabi ni JDV, pag may people’s initiative daw ay dapat sundin. So kung gusto ng tao 12% of the registered voter na ma-recall si GMA at magkaroon ng snap election, eh siguro naman ay papanigan ni JDV. HIndi ho ba Mr. Prime Mini$ter?

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lokalokang matino

March 31st, 2006 at 1:44 am

gloria and De Venecia have common denaminator, that makes them stick togehter – BOTH ARE POWER GREEDY..
However, soon after the success (assuming) of CHACHA these 2 will part ways because of that common denaminator. MARK MY WORD.
These 2 will shred each other . Ayun nga sa kasabihan matira ang matibay.
2007 to 2010 will be the next BATTLE GROUND for gloria, this time si JVD ang No.1 destabilizer. ABANGAN!!!

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schumey

March 31st, 2006 at 4:28 am

Nograles had already said that the impeachment of GMA will not prosper. There will never be any closure. The more these tongressmen push for the Cha-Cha, the more it becomes obvious what their motives are. Incidentally, this Sigaw movement is headed by de Luna, a chairman of one of the jeepney groups. He said that they did not receive any funding from the government and those documents and signature sheets came from their own pockets, kaya pala panay ang demand niyo ng “FARE INCREASE”, ha, Mr. de Luna.

So much for democratic processes and rule of law if the majority had already closed the door to ferret out the truth. No wonder we have a weekly “COUP” attempt.

The latest bombing incident is also being used to justify the Terror Bill. If you ask me, this bill will only be used to silence GMA’s critics. Our constitution is not flawed, its our politicians who are “Flawed”.

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Manuel L. Quezon III » All aboard!

March 31st, 2006 at 8:28 am

[…] So big are the plans, that efforts to block things in the House, as reported by the PCIJ, only serves to strengthen the President’s hand. If she managed to diminish Fidel V. Ramos’s stature, then the Speaker must be next on her target list: unable to get around the bicameral nature of Congress, perpetually worried about controlling unruly members of the House, the Speaker’s shepherding efforts are proving only a second act to the main one being undertaken by the Executive. […]

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lokalokang matino

March 31st, 2006 at 9:13 am

Ordinary people like us should continue praying hard so that GOOD MEN in the Lower House shall stand up for the sake of the country and its people.
We shoould also pray harder without let up so that the good men in the PNP and the AFP finally realize gloria is not the STATE. They can turn their back on personality but NEVER the STATE.

The battle has just begun for 2006
PRAY HARDER MY COUNTRYMEN, LET US SUPPORT THE 51 CONGRESSMEN who stand up against THE LITTLE GIANT in the Pasig
River.

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Rizalist

March 31st, 2006 at 10:28 am

Today’s the 33rd Anniversary of Javellana vs. The Executive Secretary. which legitimized the 1973 Martial Law Constitution. Eerie how it could be part of today’s script…to legitimize a new Chacha….right down to the People’s Initiative. Except they’ve learned from all the mistakes of Marcos and Ramos…JDV wasn’t kidding, they will try to put in place a new parliament by July and deliver a fait accompli…maghabol kayo sa Supreme Court…He and Nachura have been practically daring the Opposition to file a case in the Supreme Court.

Btw, I read Pulse Asia’s own data differently…it looks like an absolute majority (67%) of Filipinos support Charter Change NOW or in the FUTURE. … even though Pulse reports this as Only 43% support Charter Change NOW.

If their data was collected fairly, this observation is scientific and could be why the Palace has backed it so strongly.

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Rizalist

March 31st, 2006 at 10:34 am

Pulse Asia, Inc. reports on a Question that it asked of 1200 adult voters during its March, 2006 National Survey with the raw data breakdown in the following Table:

Table 3 Whether It Is Right to Amend the Present Constitution Now or Not (March 2005, Oct. 2005 and March 2006)

Question #176: Sa inyong palagay, tama ba na baguhin ang Konstitution sa ngayon? (In your opinion, is it right to change the Constitution now?)

But, Pulse Asia gave its respondents exactly four possible answers to choose from in the survey: (The three percentage numbers that follow below are the nationwide responses from March 2005, October 2005 and March 2006.)

Choice of Answers:

(1) YES the Constitution should be amended now. (29% … 36% … 43%)

(2) NO, the Constitution should not be amended now but it may be amended at some time in the future.(27% … 35% … 24%)

(3) NO, the Constitution should not be amended now nor any other time. (28% … 20% … 24%)

(4) Don’t know or can’t say.(16% … 8% … 9%)

I read this to mean that in March 2006, 67% of Filipinos support Charter Change. (The stuff about NOW and the “IN THE FUTURE” is a useless, imprecise distinction).

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Toro

March 31st, 2006 at 10:42 am

That’s how I look at it too, Rizalist.

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joselu

March 31st, 2006 at 3:03 pm

Those 51 supposed to be lawmakers are also defending the status quo just like the senators are defending a “truely profitable” political position.
It’s a fight for the “status quo”.
because w/ change groups & interest will surely be matginalized.
After all the noise & showing-off.
The real issues are not being addressed.
It’s always US the people who are ultimatly screwed & getting entertained by pure political interest.
Surely, opposition is part of a democracy.
What if the times call for cooperation & team-work to get this country going?
Will opposing still be justified?
Never mind the senate. The senate is a lost cause anyway.They have not been doing much anyway for the country.They are just fighting for their political survival.
They are so desperate that they would even use the lenten break to push for anti people initiative.
There is a name for characters like that.

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schumey

April 2nd, 2006 at 9:40 pm

To put the blame solely on the senate and the opposition is quite unfair. We must all remember that for a law to be passed, its taken up by the bicameral committee and signed by the president. If all the senate and oppposition does is to hit the administration, we will not have the EVAT. Nor other economic reforms the country needs. Investigations for me is also not a waste of time and money as its the duty of the senate and congress to check the activities of the executive. Investigations become “wastes” because of EO 464 which is widely abused by the administration and its cohorts. Even former officials use this to avoid facing an inquiry.

For me, the administration has been trying to brainwash the citizens by directing all the short-comings to the senate. It has worked to be frank, as people has learned to believe their lies.

I guess, the Filipinos are still not that discerning when it comes to the real issues facing us today. After the Cha-Cha is approved, then and only then will the people realize what we got ourselves into. By that time, regret is all we could do.

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INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Cha-cha in Congress déjà vu of impeachment — Rep. Baraquel

May 1st, 2006 at 3:07 pm

[…] “They need only 12, and there is nowhere else they will get those signatures from but the 51 of us who have filed a contrary resolution,” Baraquel said. “Man-to-man guarding ulit ito, parang impeachment,” she added. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ » Signatures in Sigaw ng Bayan petition ‘fabricated’

August 29th, 2006 at 12:19 am

[…] Drilon reiterated that the legislature operates under a bicameral system and therefore, there is no basis that the Lower House alone can act as a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution. In March, 51 congressmen filed a resolution declaring that the two chambers must vote separately before any amendments could be introduced. […]

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INSIDE PCIJ » There’s no stopping the Cha-cha train

December 2nd, 2006 at 8:03 pm

[…] Last March, 51 representatives blocked the move of the majority to secure 195 signatures (or three-fourths of the combined membership in both Chambers) needed to amend the Constitution. They filed a resolution asserting that the Constitution requires the Senate and the House to vote separately before any amendments could be introduced. […]

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beetlejuice21179

December 12th, 2006 at 8:44 pm

51 is not enough number to secure the opposition’s stand. However, it does show how desperate and pathetic De Venecia and his cohorts that’s why they keep on railroading the 3/4 vote rule. But I wish these people won’t fall for GMA’s cheap and dirty tactics. Lam nyo naman, matindi ang track record ng administrasyon sa gapangan. :-)

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