MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Franklin Drilon said Tuesday he would rather wait for the Supreme Court to determine if the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement is a treaty that needs the Senate’s ratification or not, before doing anything about it.
Drilon made the statement after Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said she would ask her colleagues to sign a resolution expressing the sense that there was a need for the Senate’s concurrence on the deal.
“My position is this: let us wait for the decision of the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court says Edca is a treaty that needs to be ratified by the Senate, the President will abide by it and send the treaty to the Senate. That is when we will ratify it,” Drilon said in an interview over dzRH.
If the court says there is no need for the chamber’s concurrence, the Senate would also abide by it, he added.
He noted that at this point, nobody could direct Malacañang to send the Edca to the Senate, especially since the Palace’s position on the matter was that it needs no legislative ratification.
The Supreme Court is tackling petitions against the Edca, a security deal that would allow more US soldiers to come to the Philippines over a ten-year period and use its military facilities.
Supporters of the deal had hailed it as something that would deter China’s from its forceful posturing, while critics said it was an uneven agreement that would allow the US to use the Philippines’ facilities even without getting it to commit to secure and defend the country.
Santiago had taken the position that the EDCA was invalid unless ratified by the Senate. She pointed out that under the Constitution, no treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless the Senate had concurred with it.
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