SC should allow Senate to check on Duterte’s ‘abuses’ in scrapping treaties
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Leila De Lima on Wednesday said the Supreme Court should allow the Senate to check on the supposed abuses of President Rodrigo Duterte in scrapping treaties.
De Lima issued the statement as she expressed support for the move of Senate President Vicente Sotto III, backed up by a majority vote of the Senate, to bring before the high court the matter of requiring the Upper Chamber’s concurrence on the abrogation of treaties and international agreements.
The move came after Duterte scrapped the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which was fueled by the cancellation of Senator Ronald Dela Rosa’s US visa.
“We cannot and should not allow the repudiation of a treaty-based on the personal hostility, whims, caprices and self-serving interests of one individual, that of an unstable Head of State,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Senate must step in to check on his abuses. The Supreme Court, both in the earlier Petition on the ICC withdrawal and now, in the proper case soon to be filed on the VFA abrogation, must allow the Senate to do so,” she added.
The senator said that it “offends both reason and intent of the Constitution to hold that while two keys are needed to secure a treaty, only one is needed to disturb or abandon it.”
“The President is not sovereign. He is not king. He is but a representative and, in the case of treaties, he possesses no monopolistic claim of representation. He shares it with the Senate,” she said.
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