SC asked to reconsider ruling on Edca
THE Supreme Court has been asked to reconsider its decision upholding the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).
Filing separate motions for reconsideration are former Senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tañada, among the 12 senators who, in 1991 voted to eject US bases in the Philippines, and the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) joined by other party-list groups.
The high court, last Jan. 12, voting 10-4-1, ruled that Edca is an executive agreement which the President is allowed to enter into under Article XVIII Section 25 of the 1987 Constitution.
“We have difficulty accepting that despite the plain meaning of the Constitution, this Honorable Court ruled the way it did,” Saguisag said.
“Something that may seal the fate of [my] apos [grandchildren], eldest seven, who loves to play soldier, should not be decided by the President and Defense Secretary alone. Pamahalaan ng nakararami, hindi po ng dalawa lang,” he said.
Like Saguisag and Tañada, BAYAN, in their 82-page motion said the people, through the Senate should be represented in the discussion of foreign military presence in the country.
“Neither the Court nor the Executive has the monopoly of discussion on the presence of foreign military personnel and their war weapons and bases. The Constitution clearly accorded unto the Senate, by representation the Filipino people, the power to decide on the return of foreign military bases,” Atty. Rachel Pastores, counsel for BAYAN said.
“The majority’s strict textual approach lulls one to believe that its intersectional interpretation is neutral, objective, apolitical, scientific and precise and to accept the majority’s underlying conclusion that US-Philippine security relations is equal,” the MR read.
Petitioners added that contrary to the high court’s position that what was prohibited under the law was the initial entry of foreign troops, the Constitution is clear when it stated that “foreign military bases shall not be allowed in the Philippines.”
“Thus, the General rule and clear intent of Article XVIII section 25 is to prohibit the return of foreign military bases, troops, facilities except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate,” BAYAN said.
Bayan also said that the assertion that Edca will help the Philippines’ position in the West Philippine Sea disputes has left out the fact that the US is “another bully” we have to deal with.
“Another underlying assumption and judicial notice made by the Majority to uphold the Edca is that China is a bully. True. But we cannot rest our backs on the pretext that another bully – greedy and giddy one at that – the US will fly to our side the moment confrontations escalate to defend our backyards and home front. Do we expect the US to prod their Federal Government to go to war for us?”
“Even if we say for the sake of argument that indeed the Philippines and the US stand on equal sovereign status and that China would eventually run scared because of America’s presence, we are at least deserving of hearing to contest these assumptions. The views espoused by the Majority are not the only world view about these matters,” the motion further stated.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.