Philippine constitution

Sen. Bam: Patay ang Cha-Cha kung walang suporta ng Senado

Sen. Bam Aquino insisted that any attempt by the House of Representatives to revise the 1987 Constitution without the Senate’s participation is unconstitutional. 

 “Anumang hakbang na gawin ng Kamara para baguhin ang Saligang Batas na hindi kasama ang Senado ay unconstitutional,” Sen. Bam asserted during the hearing of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments on the draft federal charter submitted by the consultative committee. 

Sen. Bam’s view was supported by several members of the consultative committee, including its chairman, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, retired Associate Justice Eduardo Nachura and former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel. 

 “I expressed my personal opinion that the voting should be done separately by both Houses of Congress and I gave my reasons for that opinion,” said Puno, adding that he based his opinion on historical reasons and coherent reading of the different provisions of the 1987 Constitution.  

“It cannot be done na sila lang,” said Pimentel, referring to the House of Representatives.  

Nachura, for his part, said that he wrote a book about Constitutional law, where he stated that voting should be done separately. Other members of the consultative committee — professors Julio Teehankee and Edmund Tayao – also supported the views of their senior colleagues. 

Sen. Bam Aquino also stood firm on his stand against the postponement of the 2019 elections.  

“Ang eleksyon ay haligi ng demokrasya. Kapag binuwag mo pa ang haliging iyon, baka gumuho ang demokrasya natin,” said Sen. Bam.

“A number of us have already said that we are not in favor of postponing the elections,” Sen. Bam added, referring to his colleagues in the Senate.

Sen. Bam: We will not allow railroading, bastardization of Constitution

Senator Bam Aquino asserted that he and fellow senators will not allow the railroading and bastardization of the process to change the 1987 Constitution. 
“I doubt that any senator, opposition or administration, will allow a bastardization of the Constitutionally-mandated process,” Sen. Bam stressed. 
Sen. Bam made his pronouncement amid reports that the joint session for the State of the Nation Address might be used to convene a constituent assembly that will revise the 1987 Charter. 
According to Sen. Bam, the Senate agreed that it will not allow any change in the Charter to be railroaded. 
Instead of pushing for Charter change, Sen. Bam urged the government to focus on addressing the high prices of goods due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. 
“Nakakahiya naman sa taumbayan na habang nalulunod sila sa taas presyo ay Cha Cha at No-El ang pinag-uusapan ng gobyerno,” said Sen. Bam, one of four senators who voted against the ratification of the government’s tax reform program. 
“Hanapan na lang natin ng solusyon ang tumitinding pagtaas ng presyo, imbis na pilitin ang Cha-Cha,” added Sen. Bam. 
Sen. Bam also called on the government to put premium on the welfare of Filipinos, and not on the personal interest of politicians.

Sen. Bam: Senate will not be pressured by lower chamber

As an independent institution, Sen. Bam Aquino declared that the Senate will not succumb to the pressure from the House of Representatives, which plans to hold a Constituent Assembly as mode to amend the 1987 Constitution even without the Upper Chamber’s participation.
“We will not be pressured by the Lower Chamber. The Senate believes that this is a critical reform that must go through the right process,” said Sen. Bam.
“Dadaan kami sa naaayon na proseso at panahon na bumabagay sa kahalagahan pagbabago sa Saligang Batas,,” assured Sen. Bam.
Earlier, the House approved Resolution No. 9, which seeks to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly that will introduce changes in the Charter.
The House wants to submit a new federal charter for a referendum simultaneously with the scheduled Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections this May.
However, Sen. Bam said the Senate will not give in to the House’s timetable, saying a process as important as Charter change should go through the right process.
Sen. Bam added that the Senate will make sure that there will be a massive information dissemination to educate the public about Charter change and allow them to participate in discussions, debates and crafting of the necessary amendments to the 1987 Constitution.
“Tungkulin namin na ang anumang prosesong pagdadaanan ay para sa taumbayan at hindi lamang para sa mga politiko” Sen. Bam pointed out.
In Wednesday’s Senate hearing on proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution, Sen. Bam emphasized the need for trust-building measures, including the passage of an anti-dynasty law, before amending the Charter.

Sen. Bam on House’s plan to continue with Con-Ass even without Senate’s participation

Nagkakaisa ang Senado na hindi kami magpapa-pressure sa timetable ng House of Representatives.

Dadaan kami sa naaayon na proseso at panahon na bumabagay sa kahalagahan ng gagawing proseso ng pagbabago sa Saligang Batas.

 Higit sa lahat, sisiguraduhin namin na naiintindihan at kasapi ang taumbayan sa mga usapin, debate at desisyon.

 Tungkulin namin na ang anumang prosesong pagdadaanan ay para sa taumbayan at hindi lamang para sa mga politiko.

Sen. Bam: Build trust before Cha-cha, pass anti-dynasty law

Senator Bam Aquino insisted that without the trust in the process and the people behind it, no Charter change will be accepted by the public.
“Kailangan ng tiwala ng taumbayan sa proseso at tiwala sa nagsasagawa ng proseso. How do we make sure na para ito sa tao at hindi para sa pulitiko,” Sen. Bam said during the Senate hearing on proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution.
As part of the confidence-building measure in the process, Sen. Bam suggested that an anti-dynasty law be first enacted ahead of moves to amend the 1987 Constitution.
“Intensified political dynasties, even warlordism in some areas might be a drawback of a federal form of government,” said Sen. Bam, emphasizing that passing an anti-dynasty law would enhance the public’s trust in the shift.
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno agreed to Sen. Bam’s pronouncement, saying the existence of political dynasties is one problem that needs to be addressed by those pushing for federalism.
“As it is now, these political dynasties already possess so much power. If you go to federalism, you will not only be giving them so much power, but you will be giving them sovereign powers, and that is a no-no,” said Puno.
Earlier, Sen. Bam objected to the House’s move to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly.
Sen. Bam issued the statement after the House approved Resolution No. 9, which seeks to convene Congress into a Constituent Assembly that will introduce changes in the Charter.
The Senator believes that a process as important as a Constitutional Change cannot be rushed and proposed that if ever a change will be done, a Constitutional Convention process would be more acceptable to the people than a Constituent Assembly composed of politicians.

Joint statement of Liberal Party Senators on the President’s warning to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus

As public servants and duly elected officials, we are sworn to serve and protect the rights of every Filipino and to uphold and defend the Philippine Constitution.
That very Constitution, the basic law of the land, commands that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus — a safeguard against state abuse, particularly of warrantless arrests – may only be suspended in cases of invasion and rebellion.
Section 15 of the Bill of Rights provides: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.”
The drug menace is not a ground to suspend the privilege of the writ. On the matter of rebellion, the administration is already talking peace with all armed groups, and we are in full support.
We see no basis for the suspension of the Filipino’s privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and we shall remain committed to upholding the sacred constitutional safeguards to the rights of the Filipino people.
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