Thursday| June 8, 2017
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez today warned of a possible constitutional crisis as a result of several petitions asking the Supreme Court to compel Congress to convene in a joint session to discuss the factual basis of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“Balikan muna nila (petitioners) 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 mag convene kayo ng joint session, punitin ko yan,” said Alvarez in an ambush interview.
Alvarez said the petitioners have created a situation that could result to a clash between Congress and the Supreme Court.
“Eh talagang magkakaroon ng constitutional crisis. At hindi namin kasalanan yun,” said Alvarez, who is among the respondents named in the petitions before the Supreme Court.
Alvarez said he would be represented in the case by the Solicitor General.
“Ipinasa ko na sa Office ng Solicitor General. At ang position natin doon walang jurisdiction ang Supreme Court dyan,” Alvarez said.
The Speaker said he could not understand why the petitioners are insisting on a joint session over martial law in Mindanao.
He noted that both the Senate and the House of Representatives have adopted their respective resolutions supporting the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“Ngayon mag-convene ka ng joint session, anong pag-uusapan natin? Alam na natin kung anong decision,” Alvarez explained.
Maybe the President’s critics are pressing for a joint session of Congress in the hope of creating an opportunity to promote their personal political interests.
“Siguro baka naman gusto nilang mag-grandstanding lang diyan sa joint session,” he said.
Alvarez said he could not predict what would happen if a constitutional crisis ensues as a result of the petitions filed before the high court.
However, Alvarez said he is sure of one thing: the House of Representatives would not heed any order from the Supreme Court directing Congress to convene in a joint session.
“Basta kami hindi kami susunod kung anong sabihin ng Supreme Court diyan dahil wala silang karapatan para diktahan ang Kongreso kung anong dapat naming gawin,” Alvarez said.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW: