In an event for Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) at the Marco Polo Hotel in Pasig City on Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. Aranal Sereno said oral arguments on Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is already set.
“Even without the recent incident involving the transgender woman, we are already scrutinizing the EDCA,” the Chief Justice said.
When asked to comment on the issue of Private 1st Class Joseph Scott Pemberton’s custody, Sereno said, “I cannot say what the VFA says because it is part of the pending case. It will be debated very soon.”
“The fact that that is connected to the EDCA petitions, petitions to strike down the EDCA as unconstitutional which is going to be heard in oral arguments soon – that means I cannot answer your question.”
When asked for the exact date of oral arguments on EDCA, the Chief Justice answered very soon.
Office of the Solicitor General said in its written pleading, “The President, through the DND, entered into the EDCA to perform his primary constitutional duty to promote national security interests. Under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, the President, as head of State and chief representative of government, has the “prime duty to serve and protect the people.”
Three sets of petitions question the constitutionality of EDCA. The petitioners claim that EDCA is in favor of US, disadvantageous for Filipinos and US military can build bases anywhere in Philippines.