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US temporary access to PH military bases might violate Constitution


Sen. Gregorio Honasan and Sen. Panfilo Lacson INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Two senators  have raised  an  alarm over  the  Philippines’ plan to  allow the  United States and other allies  “temporary access” to  its military bases, one saying  it might be a violation of the Constitution.

“Technically, I think it may be a violation of the Constitution,” Senator Gringo Honasan said in a text message on  Friday.

“But if our national interest and  security are at stake, we have limited choices because we are still a developing country at the mercy of and dependent on powers like the US and China,” he said.

Honasan said the  “temporary access” might be  a violation of the 1987 Constitution, which prohibits foreign military bases in the country.

Despite this,  the senator  said he would back  the plan if  only  to stop  China  from “bullying” the  Philippines on  the issue of the West  Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“For practical purposes, our national security is an urgent matter given the fact that China is not moving away. It’s only with the US that China could be cowed,” Honasan said in Filipino in a phone interview.

Senator Panfilo Lacson said  the Department  of National Defense should exercise prudence  by consulting first the Senate.

“There is a wide gray of area of interpreting the planned move of allowing temporary access to our military bases by the US and other allies. Having  said that, the DND should exercise prudence by at least consulting the senators on the matter,”  Lacson said in a separate  text message.

“After all, the Senate is mandated by the Constitution to ratify bilateral agreements between our country and another and using temporary access as  technicality to go around that constitutional does not speak well of the defense department,” he further said.

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Tags: China , Constitution , Military , Military Bases , Philippine Constitution , Philippines , South China Sea , territorial dispute , US , West Philippine Sea

  • disqusted0fu

    So what’s new? This administration has violated the constitution quite a few times already. They probably don’t refer to the constitution when they make decisions. Besides, this is all for show anyway. It’s no big deal. The PH might actually be losing more here than we are gaining

  • Hey_Dudes

    We are not exactly a developing country. It’s mind boggling these two senators can spit out such words and not be intimidated by their own foolish claim. We have been a country since we gained our independence. The problem is, we have been a country that so many of them in congress and elsewhere have been looting it of it’s resources. If we did not have politicians who are rapacious in nature and instead – true blooded Filipinos eager enough to make the country self sufficient and able to depend it’s borders militarily, we would not be in this troublesome situation where we depend on others to help us fight our enemies. Kung hindi lang kayo tubong magnanakaws matagal na dapat umasenso ang bayan.

  • JosengSisiw1

    i didn’t hear anything “NOT EVEN A CHIRP” from these 2 senators when the chinks has taken our shoals. now they are barking out loud against a plan to at least help countering this chinks invasion of our lands. shall we consider these senators “TRAITORS”? it’s no use thinking we can go against the chinks, we cannot & we need help and it’s only US and Japan are willing, even our so called Asean neighbors are so afraid of the chinks that they can’t even open up their mouth to support us.

  • WAJ

    Common people. You know you have problem with China claiming sovereignty of South China Sea and all the islands situated there belongs to them. Don’t be arrogance, the country does not have the military capability to confront the big dragon without the help of the USA. These two Senators must think wisely before opening their big mouth. The worst case scenario is; how are you going to defend your territory if China send troops in those Island.

    • ConcernedCitizenPh

      They must note that any mistake with China is irreversible.

  • skyla

    wala namang kunstitusyon sa pilipinas eh. nakasulat lang sa papel at pinaguusapan lang nang mga lintik na senador pero para sa atin na maliliit na mamayan naimplement ba yang kunstitusyon na sinasabi nila???

  • vince_bugaboo

    If the Senate, or its members, is an impediment to the realization of this “temporary access idea,” I suggest the Senate should be abolished. And if the Philippine Constitution prevents the Senate from being abolished, then I suggest an amendment of the constitution so as to prevent the prevention.

    We were able to reach the point of discussing the follies of “cha-cha” only because of personal and ambitious motives of some politicians, so what’s holding us up for a constitutional amendment regarding the abolition of the senate and the reversal of the prescribed constitutional law, i.e., the “violation to the Constitution to non-violation regarding temporary access to foreign forces, if both changes would serve our country well?

    The problem of these senators is their never-ending penchant to grandstand, mainly
    for “pogi-points; what they say is not really aimed at the solution of a sensitive issue, and that’s why their statements become unadulterated oxymoron. They’re straddling the fence on this for the benefit of their political careers.

  • ofwme2807

    these 2 Senatongs views on the planned access should not be given importance…never mind these Senators tra-itors…

  • ConcernedCitizenPh

    It’s hard to imagine national security to depend on the decision of Senators Legarda, Santiago, Trillanes, P. Cayetano, Pangilinan, Honasan, Recto and Escudero. who have promoted directly and indirectly China’s interests. The Philippine Senate has almost failed as an institution at this point. The House of Representatives will also reach this point with the unbelievable China representation that we are seeing.

  • disqussucksshowsfullname

    rather usa than china.

    i’ve had both of them as bosses and the former was way better. the former shared wealth with his employees because he knew that the success of the company relied on the loyalty and skill of the individuals running his company

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