Int’l law expert: Edca has no expiration date
MANILA, Philippines—The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) does not have an “expiration date” allowing for the “indefinite” stay of United States (US) troops in the country, an international law expert said Wednesday.
Article 12, Paragraph 4 of the Edca states that the agreement “shall have an initial term of 10 years, and thereafter, it shall continue in force automatically unless terminated by either party.”
Either the Philippines or US must provide “one-year’s written notice through diplomatic channels of its intention to terminate.”
Sought for comment about the particular paragraph of the agreement, Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said, “It gives the agreement an indefinite term after the first 10 years.”
“There is no ‘expiration date’ and requires an actual decision to terminate to be made by the parties,” he said in a text message.
The Edca allows the entry of US military forces in the country and the use of Philippine military bases free of charge.
Article 3, Paragraph 3 of the agreement states “Given the mutuality of benefits, the parties agree that the Philippines shall make agreed locations available to US forces without rental or similar costs.”
Militant groups have vowed to question the Edca before the Supreme Court saying it violates the Constitution of the Philippines for allowing foreign troops to have permanent bases.
Batongbacal however said that the agreement is “not permanent since there is the option to terminate after the 10-year initial period.”
“It can be terminated but when that happens is not certain,” he said.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has filed a resolution calling for the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security to conduct an investigation on the Edca.
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