26.6 C
Manila
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Justice Sec. Guevarra: Senators Free To Challenge VFA Termination In SC

MOST READ

Lawmakers are free to challenge the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States before the Supreme Court (SC), Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

“Senators may bring up the issue of the VFA termination to the Supreme Court if they are minded to do so,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

Guevarra, however, said the Constitution does not mention anything about the requirement of the Senate’s concurrence on the termination of treaties.

“Although a treaty is considered part of the law of the land, it does not belong to the class of ordinary statutes that pass through the entire legislative process; its abrogation is not similar to the repeal of an ordinary statute,” Guevarra said.

He said the issue of whether the President should at least consult the Senate on the matter is a political question that the Supreme Court will certainly refuse to resolve.

Guevarra also conceded that the termination of the VFA will make the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) “a hollow agreement” among its negative repercussions.

The MDT, signed by the Philippines and the US in 1951, guarantees that both countries will support each other in the event of an “armed attack” on each country’s territory, armed forces, public vessels or aircraft.

“But again note this: we survived the historic termination of the (PH)-US military bases agreement; there’s no reason why we shall not survive the termination of a mere visiting forces agreement,” Guevarra said.

On Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs sent the Philippine government’s notice of termination of the VFA to the US Embassy in Manila.

The VFA, signed by Manila and Washington DC in February 1998, exempts American forces from passport and visa regulations and allows them to use their permits and licenses in the Philippines.

The agreement also gives the US the jurisdiction over its troops who committed unlawful acts in the Philippines, unless these crimes can be punished in the host country. (PNA)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/pcoogov

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Sen. Go Denies Hand In Handling Donations For Covid-19 Response

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go denied his supposed role in the government’s management of donations for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response. In a press statement,...

Cabinet Sec. Nograles: Let NBI Handle Pasig Mayor’s Alleged Quarantine Violation

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Malacanang will leave the alleged quarantine violation of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to the National Bureau of Investigation...

Sen. Lacson: Probe Real Motives Behind QC ‘Riot’

Senator Panfilo Lacson on Thursday urged authorities to conduct a thorough probe on the real “motives” behind the mass protest action that was supposedly...

Pres. Spokesperson Panelo Denies Pres. Duterte’s Hospitalization Rumors

Malacañang denied rumors that President Rodrigo Duterte is confined at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City. “We have been informed that false news...

Pres. Duterte Confident Covid-19 Vaccine Will Soon Be Shared To The World

Once a vaccine designed to protect against the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is developed, it will be shared with the rest of the world,...

Pres. Duterte Warns Arrest Of People Sowing Chaos Amid Health Crisis

President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to order the arrest of people, especially those who belong to Left-leaning groups, who will attempt to sow disorder amid...

Davao City Mayor Sara Appeals For Compassion From Employers During ECQ

Mayor Sara Z. Duterte appealed to employers on Tuesday to show compassion to their employees who are expected to be affected should the local...

Iloilo City Mayor Treñas Pushes For Aggressive Testing Of PUIs, PUMs

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas is calling on the Department of Health (DOH) to “aggressively test all PUIs (patients under investigation) and PUMs...

NegOr Gov. Degamo Signs EO On Enhanced Community Quarantine

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has signed Executive Order No. 2020-26 placing the province under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for 14 days to prevent...

Pres. Duterte Orders OCD To Consolidate Donations

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered that donated medicines and medical supplies to address the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) shall be coordinated with and transmitted to...