#PingSays: Senators close ranks, won’t attend ConAss joint session without proper assurances | Jan. 17, 2018

In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– senators agreeing not to attend a joint session for Charter change without assurance the Senate and House will vote separately
– possible expulsion of senators who attend a joint session without authorization
– constitutional convention or constituent assembly?

Quotes from the interview… 

On senators closing ranks regarding a joint session for Charter change:
“Basta hindi kami papasok sa joint session na hindi namin sigurado na voting separately.”

On possible expulsion of senators who take part in such a joint session:
“What if one or two senators would be invited by the House as a body to attend the joint session? So ang ano roon is if that would be a semblance of participation by the Senate at pwede sabihin ng House na meron kaming joint session with the Senate. Tutal nagkasundo kami we will not allow ourselves to be drowned out pagka nagkaroon ng constituent assembly ng two bodies… Sabi ko para lang medyo matibay ang usapan natin, baka pwede magkasundo-sundo tayo na i-expel natin ang whoever, kung sinong members na sasama sa ganoong arrangement without the benefit of a resolution adopted by the body.”
“Sa mechanism, nagusap kami ni Sen. Drilon, pwede naman gamitin ang mechanism ng ethics committee. We’ll constitute it into a committee of the whole to try the erring member.”

Express expulsion:
“Kung may babaligtad bahala siya sa buhay niya. I even computed based on Waze ang travel time between the Senate and the House. Even before he steps into Batasan soil, expelled na siya, he’s no longer a Senate member. Kasi mga one-and-a-half to two hours yan. So mapadali namin ang summary hearing or trial and we’ll time it na before he even sets foot on the grounds of Batasang Pambansa, expelled na siya, so he’s no longer a valid member of the Senate.”

ConCon or ConAss?
“After kanina, mas maganda ang concon, ang mode… Conass if it comes to a constituent assembly. Ang reso ko naman is directing the Senate to constitute itself into a constituent assembly, not the whole Congress.”