Treaty withdrawal sans Senate OK may be raised before SC
MANILA, Philippines – The issue of the Philippine government withdrawing from any treaty or agreement without consulting the Senate may reach the Supreme Court.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said this on Tuesday after the Philippines formally sent the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to the United States.
“Palagay ko may possibility na makarating sa Supreme Court yung issue namin, which is we should be consulted before termination,” Sotto said told Senate reporters.
(I think there’s a possibility that our issue, which is we should be consulted before termination, would reach the Supreme Court.)
“I will not be surprised if one of our members would elevate it,” he said.
And if that happens, he said he would support such move.
The termination notice came a day after the Senate adopted a resolution, asking President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider the VFA scrapping pending a thorough review by the upper chamber.
“Well, it appears that the President does not want to review the VFA, and that he does not want to consider. It’s as simple as that,” Sotto said.
Since the Philippines is now ending the agreement with the US, the Senate leader no longer sees the need for the chamber to continue the VFA review.
“If terminated na, there is no use to review,” Sotto said.
He said the Senate though could still deliberate on another resolution, asserting the Senate’s authority over treaty termination or withdrawal.
Sotto said he was inclined to support the assertion that the Senate should be consulted first before withdrawing from any treaty or agreement.
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.