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Joint or separate? Lagman says voting on Cha-cha to reach SC

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The Supreme Court will have to decide how the House of Representatives and Senate vote on proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution when they convene as a constituent assembly, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Tuesday (August 8).

Lagman, a lawyer, said that while the Constitution is silent on the issue, the Supreme Court has decided in Gonzales vs. Comelec that lawmakers should vote jointly when they meet as a constituent assembly.

“In other words, whatever would be the results of the talks between the Senate and House, if they don’t agree this will go to the Supreme Court for final adjudication. If there will be separate voting, this will to the SC for adjudication,” he said.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the two chambers of Congress will be convening as a constituent assembly in 2018 to propose amendments to the Constitution with the aim of shifting to a federal form of government.

Senators remain divided on amending the Constitution through a constituent assembly over concerns on whether they should vote jointly or separately from the House members.