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Majority leader urges RBH7 sent to Comelec after House nod

The House of Representatives is scheduled to approve Resolution of Both Houses No. 7 (RBH7) on economic charter change on Wednesday, the last session day before Congress goes on a Holy Week break.

Once the House has done so, Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe proposed the chamber forward the resolution to the Commission on Elections.

“If we have 3/4 vote on RBH7 and everything has been complied with in accordance to the Constitution, then my suggestion is we forward it to the Commission on Elections,” Dalipe told the media in an  interview.

If the Senate and the House are to vote separately on economic charter change, Dalipe said the three-fourths vote in the House is equivalent to 232. But if the two chambers are to vote jointly, the needed number of votes is 250.

Dalipe is confident that the Senate will be able to muster the three-fourths vote.

“In the law, it is definitely Comelec who will decide if we have complied and there is a sufficient number of votes as stated in the Constitution, that they can ultimately schedule for a plebiscite on RBH7,” Dalipe explained.

The Comelec is mandated to schedule a plebiscite not earlier than 60 days and not later than 90 days from the approval of Charter change.

Several congressmen have expressed optimism that the House will be able to muster more than three-fourths vote.

“As of now, more than 280 congressmen have already co-authored RBH7. So kung dumaan man ito sa nominal voting, approved na rin in principle dahil sa dami ng nag-co-author sa RBH7,” House Deputy Speaker David “Jay-jay” Suarez said in a press conference.

Kabataan Representative Raoul Manuel had raised the possibility of the House forwarding RBH7 to Comelec even before the Senate has acted on their RBH6. Deputy Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II assured Manuel that the Senate’s action on RBH6 is needed.

“Ang pagiging open-ended ng RBH7 na hindi explicitly nakalagay kung magvo-vote jointly o separately, tingin natin na isa itong baraha actually ng Kamara para kung hindi talaga bumigay ang Senado ay puwedeng i-interpret na ang pag-apruba rito ng Kamara ay pag-apruba na rin ng buong Kongreso kahit na absent ang Senado. At ito yung ating pinangangambahan sa simula pa lamang,” Manuel told reporters in an ambush interview.—LDF, GMA Integrated News