Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago which is now running for the 2016 presidential election is calling on the government to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, as she regretted that the Supreme Court neglected to ascend from its controversial 2009 decision on the VFA.
Sen. Santiago said that the Supreme Court likewise failed on the ruling with regards to the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
Santiago is standing with Senate Resolution No. 105 she authored saying without Senate concurrence, any treaty or international agreement, including the EDCA, is invalid.
On Sunday, Santiago called for her colleagues in the Senate to ask for a renegotiation or abrogation of the VFA.
Santiago said in a statement that ” The Philippine sovereignty, as well as the rights and dignity of its citizens, suffered immensely during the 17 years of operation of the VFA. Let us assert our sovereignty and call for the total abrogation of this agreement.”
According to Santiago, “The executive claims that it is not a treaty but merely an executive agreement, and it was not submitted to the Senate for concurrence. The flaw of the VFA, meanwhile, lies in the fact that it is not considered a treaty by the U.S.”
The Senator explained that in the Constitution it is clear that if an agreement pertains to foreign military bases, troops, or facilities, it…
- must be in the form of a treaty
- must be concurred in by the Senate, and
- must be recognized as a treaty by the other contracting state.
She said that Malacañang could have cured the EDCA of constitutional infirmity by considering it a treaty and submitting it to the Senate for concurrence.
“But instead of abiding by the Constitution in which President Aquino sworn to protect, he openly defied it by striking a deal concerning foreign bases, troops, or facilities through an executive agreement,” Sen. Santiago added. - Carl E.