We're being fooled by Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr. He says that he's not interested in con-ass when proposals to amend economic provisions of the 1987 Charter are slated to be discussed shortly after the SONA. Niloloko tayo ni Noggie the doggie.
(at right, Noggie the doggie seen here with presidential son Mikey " M2" Arroyo)
Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr. has assured colleagues at the Senate and the public in general that the House leadership will not proceed with transforming Congress into a constituent assembly. He said this to allay fears of the public on con-ass. Yet, he said in the same vein, that the priority of the House is still charter change. So, that leaves people thinking---what is Nograles up to?
In fact, House Resolution 747 which seeks to amend the economic provisions of the charter is the top agenda of the House come July 27. So, what is Nograles saying that they're not turning the House into a constituent assembly, when their first order of business is the passage of this Resolution? Besides, technically, the house has been converted already into a constituent assembly the very moment Gloria gives her SONA. The conversion already started shortly after the passage of House Resolution 1106! Nograles does not need to publicly announce con-ass because they already did last June 2, 2009.
When the House discusses House Resolution 747 on July 27, that, in itself, is already a process of proposing amendments to the Constitution. That will fly based on the strength of House Resolution 1106. So, what Nograles is simply doing is what we call "word play."
Now, will the boycott of three senators change anything? Obviously, it will not. By the very act of assembling to hear Arroyo's speech both of Senators and Congressmen, that in itself, satisfies the constitutional prerequisite of a formal opening of the session of Congress. It does not take for Nograles to actually say that the House is now a Constituent Assembly. He and his allies only need for the President to give her speech and for the Speaker to announce that Congress is now in session. When they open the House for business, proposals to amend the Constitution will be accepted since a prior law already gave constitutional credence to it.