Lacson wants to expel senators who attend House con-ass

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FILE PHOTO. Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — Senator Panfilo Lacson will move to expel any of his colleagues who will join the House of Representatives in meeting as a constituent assembly (con-ass) to discuss amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Lacson made the suggestion during a caucus of all senators on Tuesday.

"Kahapon, very serious si Senator Lacson. Kung may gumawang senador ng ganoong klaseng hakbang, pumunta sa House... Senator Lacson said: 'I will move to expel that senator if he or she goes there," Drilon said in an interview Wednesday on the sidelines of a Senate joint committee hearing on proposals for Charter change.

Drilon said no one objected to Lacson's proposal.

In a text message, Lacson confirmed suggesting the expulsion of a senator who would join the House in a con-ass.

"I was just concerned that in case of that remote possibility na meron in the future, he or she cannot escape a misdeed that borders on treachery to our senate as an institution. We can use our mechanism in the ethics committee to execute my proposal," he said.

The House on Tuesday night adopted Concurrent Resolution No. 9, convening the two chambers of Congress into a con-ass.

Read more: House OKs resolution to convene Con-Ass

Senators expressed concern about the resolution because of pronouncements by some lawmakers that voting in the con-ass would be done jointly.  They point out that the 23 senators would  easily be outvoted by the 293 House members.

Drilon said senators agreed at the caucus that the Senate and House should vote separately on the proposed amendments to the Constitution.

"In my 20 years of being in the Senate, there are just a few times when there is unanimity. And the unanimity was shown yesterday when all the senators said 'no, we should vote separately'," he said.