Bato dela Rosa: Sorry, I’m not joining VFA petition at SC
MANILA, Philippines — Sorry but the “whipping boy” of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States is not joining a petition against it at the Supreme Court.
“I’m not supporting it. I’m sorry for my colleagues, I will not support that because kailangan pa ba natin ng interpretation ng Supreme Court kung mabasa natin sa Constitution, anong laman ng Constitution?” Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in an interview at the Senate on Tuesday.
(I’m not supporting it. I’m sorry for my colleagues, I will not support that because, do we need the interpretation of the Supreme Court if we can read the Constitution and what it says?)
“Sinabi naman ng Constitution na wala ‘yan, hindi ‘yan nakalagay dun na kailangan ‘yung (The Constitution says nothing about the need for) concurrence of the Senate when it comes to abrogation of a treaty,” he added.
“So kailangan pa ba nating itanong dun kung hindi nakalagay dun? So that’s it. ‘Yun lang ang sa akin. I’m just basing my belief, my stand on the Constitution. Wala namang sinabi ang Constitution na kailangan pa ng concurrence ng Senate ang abrogation of a treaty,” Dela Rosa stressed.
(So do we need to ask if that’s provided [for in the Constitution]? So that’s it. I’m just basing my belief, my stand on the Constitution. The Constitution does not say that the abrogation of a treaty still needs the concurrence of the Senate.)
The Philippines has already sent a notice of termination to the US following the latter’s cancellation of Dela Rosa’s visa.
But Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said he and some of his colleagues will petition at the SC to clarify whether or not the VFA abrogation needed the concurrence of the Senate.
Joining him in the petition, Sotto said, are Senate Minority leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon, and former Senators Rodolfo Biazon and Franciso “Kit” Tatad.
“Pasensya na kung magkakatampuhan kami dito (I’m sorry if we disagree about this) but I have to stand on my ground. That’s my just simple ground but I have to stand on it,” Dela Rosa went on.
The senator assured though that the support on the petition or the lack of it would not in anyway affect Sotto’s leadership in the Senate.
Besides, he said, no one is interested in taking Sotto’s position.
Dela Rosa also noted that senators have so differed only on this issue of the VFA abrogation.
“Ito nga lang, itong certain issue na ito lalong-lalo na ako ang nagiging poster boy or whipping boy of VFA kaya I have to stand my ground,” he said.
(This is the only one, this certain issue especially that I become the poster boy or whipping boy of VFA — that’s why I have to stand my ground.)
“Anong sasabihin ni Presidente sa akin? ‘Ikaw Bato denepensahan kita dahil winalangiya ka ng mga Amerikano tapos ngayon ikaw ayaw mo man lang suportahan yung stand ko?’” he added.
(What will the President say to me? “You, Bato, I’m defending you because of what the Americans did to you. Then now, you can’t even support my stand?”)
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