Speaker Cayetano may have a point since the Constitution provides that bills of local application like franchise measures must originate from the House of Representatives.
He is wrong in equating it to the Charter change issue, though, since as practiced and for expediency, we conduct committee hearings on tax and budget measures even before the House transmits its approved version of the bill to the Senate.
What can be considered blatantly violative of the Constitution is if the Senate committee chairperson reports out on the floor for plenary debates the committee report. This is something we have not done and will never do.
Having said that, what I understand to be tackled by the Public Services Committee are not the bills in connection with the ABS-CBN franchise but a filed resolution to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the alleged violations of ABS-CBN that is being questioned by the Office of the Solicitor General before the Supreme Court via a quo warranto petition in which I have earlier expressed reservation out of courtesy to a co-equal branch that has already given due course to the said petition.
Being bicameral, without the Senate agreeing to amending the Charter via a constituent assembly, no amount of determined efforts by the House members will bring to reality new provisions of the 1987 Constitution, whether economic or political.
In an interview, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– possible effects of a ‘shared’ House Speakership
– possible ‘pork’ in the budget, amending the 1987 Constitution
– Senate’s continued independence even with ‘the President’s men’
– passage of death penalty bill
– Sen dela Rosa’s ‘S*** happens’ statement
At the Kapihan sa Senado forum, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– House leadership change and Mayor Sara Duterte’s alleged role
– Lamitan suicide bombing
– Internal cleansing vs scalawags in the PNP
– Charter change and federalism
– Using seized smuggled high-end vehicles vs criminals
– firing of Deputy Ombudsman Carandang
– US proceedings vs Janet Napoles
– TRAIN-2 in the Senate
– proposed 60-40 joint exploration with China in the West PH Sea
In an interview on CNN Philippines, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Basilan bombing
– leadership row at the House of Representatives
– Senate unity on Charter change
– Mayor Sara Duterte and the political landscape