Senate will ‘weaken’ if it fails to assert power on treaty withdrawal — Drilon
MANILa, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon insisted on Thursday that any treaty could not be “undone” without the Senate’s concurrence.
Failure of the chamber to assert this power would only “weaken” the Senate, Drilon warned as the Senate began its hearing on the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States.
The hearing by the Senate committee on foreign relations was prompted by President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to terminate it following the cancellation by the U.S. of Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s U.S. visa.
“In our system of governance, the Senate, this chamber, not the House of Representatives, is considered as the partner the President in terms of foreign policy,” Drilon said.
And the President’s threat to scrap it, he said, “highlights and validates” the need for the Senate to assert its role on foreign policy formulation.
“It is part also of our check and balance. It is part of our exercise of that shared power insofar as foreign policy formulation is concerned. A failure on our part to assert such roles is an abdication of our ability and our authority to participate in foreign policy formulation. Our failure to do so will weaken the Senate,” he said.
“It is our submission that the power of the Philippines by treaty or international agreement is vested jointly by the Constitution in the President and the Senate. Once ratified and concurred in, it becomes part of the law of the land.”
“Therefore, it is our submission that a treaty may not be undone without that shared power that put it into effect,” Drilon stressed.
Edited by MUF
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