13 senators question EDCA's validity

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2015 06:44 PM | Updated as of Jun 12 2015 02:44 AM

MANILA - Thirteen senators are questioning the validity of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the committee on foreign relations, and 12 other senators have signed a resolution asserting that a treaty ratified by the President is not valid and effective unless concurred to by the Senate.

"Behold the Senate break its silence. The fact that we have not made a hue and cry about the EDCA has apparently been misconstrued as acquiescence. In this resolution, we are saying that we will not allow the power of the Senate to be eroded," Santiago said.

"The Constitution is clear and categorical that Senate concurrence is absolutely necessary for the validity and effectivity of any treaty, particularly any treaty that promotes for foreign military bases, troops, and facilities, such as the EDCA," the Senate resolution read.

The resolution was signed by Santiago, Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, TG Guingona, Lito Lapid, Bongbong Marcos, Serge Osmeña, Koko Pimentel, Ralph Recto, Bong Revilla, and Cynthia Villar.

Malacañang, for its part, insists the EDCA is not a treaty but an executive agreement that does not require Senate concurrence.

Santiago's statement comes after President Aquino announced the Philippines will initiate negotiations for a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with Japan to bolster both countries' stand in maritime disputes with China.

But the President said the VFA with Japan would need Senate approval. -- ANC