Tax reform bill unconstitutional: Solons to question TRAIN before Supreme Court

Image from BAYAN MUNA Partylist's Facebook account
  • Militant solons to question House’s tax reform package before Supreme Court
  • They said bill was railroaded and approved without the required number of Congress
  • They also slammed the Duterte administration and its allies in Congress for anti-poor policies

MANILA, Philippines – Militant lawmakers vowed to challenge the recently-ratified comprehensive tax reform package before the Supreme Court; saying the bill could not be approved due to a lack of quorum in the House of Representatives.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said there could not have possibly been a quorum from the House as there were only 20 members present when the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill was voted upon on the floor.

“There were only fewer than 20 members present when the wrecker TRAIN was railroaded. This is a blatant violation of our rules, which provide that the measure ‘shall be ratified by a majority vote of the members of the House present, there being a quorum’,” the Philippine Star quoted him as saying. “Obviously the runaway train that would wreak havoc on our people with new burdensome taxes was not validly ratified and (is) legally infirm.”

Due to the hasty manner of ratifying the bill, Zarate said they would keep all their options open — including going to the high court for relief.

“We are now studying all our options, including going to the Supreme Court, to question and stop this railroaded anti-people tax reform package,” he said.

For his part, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Rep. Antonio Tinio slammed both the Duterte administration and its allies in Congress for its anti-poor policies as shown by their push for the TRAIN.

“The brazen railroading of this TRAIN wreck on the poor exposes yet again the blatant disregard of the Duterte administration and its supermajority in Congress for even the most minimal standards of democracy,” he said.