Senators to question VFA termination before SC

first_imgSenate Minority leader Franklin Drilon. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN Drilon said that the argument thesenators are eyeing to raise before the high court is similar to the one madeby opposition senators before the SC in questioning the Duterteadministration’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which created the InternationalCriminal Court (ICC). MANILA – Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said senators are pushing with their bipartisan plan to file a petition before the Supreme Court challenging President Rodrigo Duterte’s move in terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and United States. President Rodrigo Duterte orderedForeign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. in early February tosend notice to the US that it wants to end the VFA, despite his Cabinet membersadvising against it. Senate President Vicente “Tito” SottoIII and other senators, according to Drilon, will be crossing party lines toquestion the VFA’s termination without the Senate’s nod before the Supreme Court. “It is our firm belief that if treatiesand international agreements the President entered into cannot be valid withoutthe approval of the Senate, the termination of, or withdrawal from, the sameshould only be effective with the concurrence of the Senate,” the Ilonggolawmaker said in a statement.center_img He added that Sotto is already preparinga petition and has asked him to co-author it. The minority leader said heaccepted the Senate President’s invitation. Based on the 1987 Constitution, theSenate is required concur in treaties for these to be ratified but it does notsay if the Senate’s nod is also needed when the administration decides to exitfrom a treaty. “If the Supreme Court sides with their(Rome Statute) argument that the Senate’s concurrence is also required when theadministration decides to leave a treaty, then the Duterte administration’stermination of the VFA would also be considered invalid,” Drilon said. The US has received the Philippines’notice and US President Donald Trump has shrugged off the country’s terminationof the pact, which defense experts have warned will be detrimental to thePhilippines./PNlast_img

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