“EDCA is just the enhancement of that capacity as joint exercises are envisioned to do. This policy was reaffirmed in the Visiting Forces Agreement. The EDCA just further implements the policies already agreed. Thus, the EDCA does not need ratification,” said Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, EDCA chief negotiator for PH.
According to Batino there is no new treaty that was created, further, EDCA is not permanent and has an expiration. This agreement will only continue the implementation policies set forth by the Mutual Defense Treaty. EDCA is a defense agreement not a political agreement.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chair for Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, says EDCA may have violated some provisions in the constitution and it needs to be ratified in the Senate before implementation.
“By the stroke of a pen, through the EDCA, the Aquino government cedes all of Philippine sovereignty to the US and makes us second class citizens in our own country. This agreement is very unequal and is extremely disadvantageous [to] Filipino interest,” said in a resolution asking for a Congressional probe submitted by Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna), Carlos Zarate (Bayan Muna), and Antonio Tinio (ACT-Teachers).
On the other hand, Senate President Franklin Drilon said it is up to the Supreme Court if senate action or ratification is needed. If EDCA is declared as a defense (Executive) agreement then senate intervention is unnecessary, however, if it is a treaty senate needs to intervene.