Gabrillo, John Angelo M. JDLWTW1 Atty.
Neil B. Nucup
1: “The House of Representatives, even
without the Senate, can revise the Constitution.
2: “In the event the Senate attends the
constituent assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate shall vote
jointly rather than separately.”
Statement 2 is a political question
while statement 1 is not. Congress, being composed of 2 legislative chambers to
exclude one would result in an incomplete Congress. However, this depends on
how the Supreme Court sees it—whether there is a need for a quorum for the
entire Congress (297 Representatives and 24 Senators) or if similar to the case
of Tanada v. Cuenco1,
the number is immaterial provided that the quorum be met.
Regarding statement 2, the 1935 Constitution
expressly stated that the “Congress, in
joint session assembled, by a vote of all the Members of the Senate and the
House of Representatives voting separately, may propose amendments to this
Constitution or call a convention for the purpose.2”
Comparing the provision from 1935 to the current corresponding provision,
it is evident that the words “voting
separately” were removed. The question we face is if the words “voting separately” were intentionally
deleted or if it was due to oversight. By looking into the other instances in
which the Senate and the House of Representatives are required to vote, it is
clearly indicated as to whether or not they are to vote separately34 or jointly567. Oversight is unlikely since the framers were clear
in terms of when to vote jointly and when to vote separately. In the silence of
the constitution, it will be up to the houses to decide whether or not they
should vote jointly or separately.
1 103 Phil. 1051
SEC. 1, ART. XV, 1935 CONST. (Amended)
3 SEC. 4, ART. VII, CONST.
4 SEC. 9, Id.
5 SEC. 28(4), ART. VI, Id.
6 SEC. 18, ART. VII, Id.
7 SEC. 19, Id.