Senators chide Alvarez for saying they cannot expel a colleague who will attend con-ass

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  • Senators have chided Speaker Alvarez for saying they cannot expel a colleague
  • The Speaker earlier said the senators cannot expel a colleague since the basis is not a valid ground for expulsion
  • But Senator Drilon cited Constitutional provision for each House to discipline its members

MANILA, Philippines  –  Some Upper House lawmakers have refuted Speaker Alvarez on whether they can expel a colleague who will defy their agreement not to attend the constituent assembly proposed by the Lower House.

In an early radio interview, Alvarez maintained senators cannot expel a colleague since they are elected by the people and such issue is not a valid ground for expulsion.

But Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon begged to disagree with Alvarez’s opinion.

“The last time I read the Constitution, each House of congress have the exclusive right to discipline its members, which cannot be questioned by anyone, not even the Supreme Court,” Drilon said in a text message to Inquirer.

It was Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson who suggested to expel any senator who would attend the con-ass with the House.

“I did suggest that yesterday after we all agreed to close ranks as one body. Nobody objected,” Lacson said last Wednesday.

Senator Vicente Sotto III, for his part, said it was obvious Alvarez did not listen to the Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Alvarez had insisted on a joint voting during the con-ass, but the senators maintained Congress must vote separately on a charter change as provided for in the 1987 Constitution.

The Speaker added they are all representatives of the people and it is clear in the Constitution that three-fourths of all members of the Congress.

“We are the nearest link to the people, so why should senators’ vote have more weight than a congressman?” said Alvarez.