13 Senators sign resolution asserting EDCA invalid unless Senate concurs

Thirteen senators, representing the majority of Senate, are asserting Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and United States falls into the category of treaty or international agreement and that the power to enter into it does not rest solely on the President but is shared with 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,” Senate committee on foreign relations chair Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said.

The resolution aims to express the strong sense of the Senate that unless concurred in by the upper legislative chamber, a treaty ratified by the President is not valid and effective. Senators 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 signed the resolution.

If concurred, the resolution will be submitted to the Supreme Court.

“The only constitutional ground for the position taken by the Executive is the mere inclusion of the term ‘executive agreement’ as one of items included in the list of cases which the Supreme Court has power to decide,” the senators said.

“It is absurd to claim that the EDCA is an implementing agreement to the VFA, which, in the first place, is alleged to be the implementing agreement to the ancient Mutual Defense Treaty. Moreover, the U.S. does not even recognize the VFA as a treaty,” they added.

Department of Foreign Affairs says EDCA is an agreement between the Philippines and the United States which is envisioned to advance the implementation of the Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).