- House Speaker vowed to ignore Supreme Court if it orders Congress to convene
- He said high tribunal cannot order co-equal body like Congress
- He also said it won’t be legslature’s fault if constitutional crisis happens
MANILA, Philippines – A fuming Pantaleon Alvarez blasted the petitioners who are urging the Supreme Court to direct Congress to hold a joint session over President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao; saying he will personally rip any order from the high tribunal.
“Ah, balikan muna nila ang law books. How can the Supreme Court dictate Congress what to do? Co-equal body ‘yan. O, mag-issue ng direktiba ang Supreme Court telling Congress, dictating Congress na, ‘Uy, mag-convene kayo ng joint session.’ Punitin ko ‘yan,” Rappler quoted the House Speaker as saying.
[They should review law books. They are co-equal bodies. So if the Supreme Court issues an order dictating Congress to convene, I’ll rip up that order.]
Alvarez said that since Congress is a co-equal branch of the government, the Supreme Court has no right to dictate to the legislative department.
“Basta kami hindi kami susunod kung ano’ng sabihin ng Supreme Court diyan dahil wala silang karapatan para diktahan ang Kongreso kung ano’ng dapat naming gawin,” he said.
[We won’t follow whatever the Supreme Court will say because they have no right to dictate on Congress.]
Alvarez added that in the event of a constitutional crisis should the two bodies clash, Congress would not be at fault.
“Eh talagang magkakaroon ng constitutional crisis. At hindi namin kasalanan ‘yun.” [There will indeed be a constitutional crisis. But it won’t be our fault],” he said.
Duterte’s martial law proclamation is being challenged by three petitions before the high tribunal. The SC has set oral arguments for the case next week.