outbrain
Close  

Lacson presses SC to rule on international agreements like VFA

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 01:18 PM January 24, 2020

MANILA,   Philippines—  Senator Panfilo Lacson pressed the  Supreme Court on Friday to rule soonest on the issue whether or not the  President can unilaterally terminate a treaty or a bilateral agreement without consent of the Senate.

“In the absence of a Philippine Supreme Court ruling on the President’s power to unilaterally break a treaty or bilateral agreement like the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) without the consent of a 2/3 supermajority vote of the members of the Senate, the President can do that without the Senate’s approval or consent,” Lacson said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Having said that, the Supreme Court should act soonest on whether the Senate’s consent is needed before the executive department can terminate a treaty or bilateral agreement – an issue raised in a petition filed before it by members of the Senate,” he said.

In May 2018,  opposition senators filed a petition at the SC, seeking to invalidate the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

FEATURED STORIES

The petitioners—  Senators Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Leila De Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and their former colleagues—  Antonio Trillanes IV and   Bam Aquino—  argued that the  ICC withdrawal in March 2018  should have been with the concurrence of the Senate.

President Rodrigo  Duterte cited the baseless allegations and continued attacks by  UN officials over the reported extrajudicial killings in the country as one reason for the withdrawal.

Lacson revived the pending petition in court after Duterte threatened to terminate the VFA between the Philippines and the United States after the latter revoked the U.S. visa of his close ally,  Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa, as then head of the Philippine National Police,  was the chief implementor of the government’s brutal war on drugs that resulted in the deaths of thousands of drug suspects.

But Lacson  stressed that the VFA is  a bilateral  accord “that went through some back-and-forth diplomatic discussions prior to ratification by the Senate.”

The  US  visa, on the other hand,  is  “conditional authorization UNILATERALLY given to a visiting foreigner which may be granted, canceled or even denied outright, without need for explanation or justification,” the senator said.

Edited by MUF
ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

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.

TAGS: agreements, bilateral, Diplomacy, Panfilo Lacson, Ronald  Bato., Senate, US, VFA
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.