Supreme Court sets date for EDCA debate

The Supreme Court sets the date for presentation of oral arguments on whether Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is constitutional or not.

”The Court has scheduled the presentation of oral arguments on these cases, which challenge the constitutionality of the EDCA entered into between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America, on Nov. 17, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Session Hall of the SC,” the high court’s Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te said in a briefing.

On the said date topics and arguments involving EDCA will be discussed. These includes whether the petitioners have legal standing in the present cases. Whether these cases and the issues raised are justiciable. Whether the EDCA is a treaty or an international agreement that requires Senate concurrence. Whether petitioners may validly challenge the provisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement in the present case. Whether there are limits to the constitutionally assigned sphere of discretion of the President concerning foreign relation matters. Whether the EDCA deprives the SC of its judicial power.

SC also sets a tentative day to continue the discussions, if not finished. ”In the event that the scheduled date is insufficient to conclude the oral arguments, the parties are advised to reserve an additional day for the continuation. Thus, a possible extension of oral arguments is tentatively scheduled on Nov. 25, 2014 at 2 p.m.,” Te added.