“Hindi ko pababayaang sipsipin nila ng todo ang dugo ng taumbayan. Hindi lang bawang ang kailangan natin para labanan ang mga aswang na ito. Kailangan nating magsama-sama para labanan ang Con-ASSwang ni Gloria,” he said in a privileged speech.
“Ngayong hapon, nag-desisyon ako na isuot ang kwintas ng bawang na ito para maitaboy ang aswang na tinatawag na Constituent Assembly o Con-ASSwang. Para tumibay lalo ang loob ng Senado, pinadalhan ko din ang mga kagalang-galang na mga kasamahan ko sa Senado at sa Kongreso na buong-tapang na nilalabanan ang Con-ASSwang na ito,” he added.
Roxas also challenged President Arroyo to reject and categorically disown the illegal Con-Ass railroaded by her House allies.
“Madame President, walang maniniwala na ang Con-ASSwang na ito ay hindi iyo. Magpakatotoo ka. Ito ay nangyari lamang dahil pinakawalan mo ang Con-ASSwang na ito. You are responsible for this plague that has befallen us. Tayuan mo ito o itakwil mo!“
Roxas authored a resolution expressing the Senate’s opposition to the Senate-less Con-Ass and insisting on its unconstitutionality.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved, to express the sense of the Senate urging President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to uphold her constitutional duties by rejecting House Resolution No. 1109, affirming that the House of Representatives convening as a constituent assembly independent of the Senate is patently unconstitutional and by ordering her allies in the House of Representatives to stop such blatant disrespect of constitutional processes,” the resolution read.
He insisted President Arroyo has the “constitutional and moral duty” to assure the Filipino people that she is not involved in the “foolishness” of her House allies.
He stressed that “in unilaterally convening itself as a constituent assembly through House Resolution No. 1109, the House of Representatives unlawfully disregarded the bicameral nature of Congress and blatantly disregarded the Senate of the Philippines as a co-equal body in the legislative branch of the government in violation of the sacred law of the land – the 1987 Philippine Constitution.”
He cited the legal maxim of ut magis valeat quam pereat and said that “a complete reading of the 1987 Constitution would readily reveal that both the Senate and House of Representatives are intended to act and vote separately in all the measures that they are required to pass upon.”
He also noted the opinion of constitutionalist Fr. Joaquin Bernas that the requirement of separate voting is apparent in the bicameral character of Congress.
Senators have unanimously adopted on December 15 last year Resolution No. 154 declaring as unconstitutional any attempt by the House of Representatives to unilaterally propose amendments to or revision of the Constitution without the approval by ¾ of the Senate voting separately.
Malacañang allies at the House of Representatives railroaded the approval of House Resolution No. 1109 late Tuesday night allowing the convening of a Constituent Assembly even without the participation of the Senate to introduce amendments to or revise the constitution.