Press Release
December 11, 2006

House should ask GMA to certify Con-con bill as urgent

Congressmen should first ask President Arroyo to certify as urgent any of the constitutional convention bills filed in the House and the Senate before they ask senators to act on it.

If they can convince the President to endorse it, then it means it has the imprimatur of the highest official of the land and, as a courtesy to the President, her request should be given prompt attention by the Senate, Sen. Ralph Recto said.

Such certification, he said, will also clarify where the President stands on the matter, Recto said.

Without the signature of the President on an official document saying that she wants the Con-con bill passed immediately, then all claims to the contrary are not true, he said.

There are many self-styled spokesmen who claim to speak for her. Everyone claims to have her ear. So to clear the confusion we would like hear it from herself. Ano ba talaga Ate? he said.

In lawmaking, conveying the desire of the administration to have a bill or resolution passed is not done through text or bulong. It must be in black-and-white. It cannot be subject to conjectures or second guessing. We cannot act on a bill based on her body language. Her signature must be on the dotted line, he said.

If the President will certify the Con-con bill as urgent, then she will have to specify the nature of the emergency that the bill she is endorsing is responding to, Recto said.

He said the President has no choice but to step in on the proposal to convene the Con-con because of the costs it would entail.

By tradition, we solicit the opinion of the executive branch on bills that require appropriations, especially on those that would require huge amounts, if how these would impact on the fiscal plan of the government, he said.

Another reason why presidential certifications on bills are requested, Recto said, is to have a written guarantee that the measure, if approved by Congress, will not be vetoed.

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