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Opposition to Edca mounts as second petition filed in SC

/ 11:01 AM May 27, 2014

The Supreme Court building in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives, cause-oriented groups and artists on Tuesday filed a petition to declare as unconstitutional the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).

They also asked the high court to stop implementation of the agreement for allegedly violating several provisions of the Constitution.

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This is the second petition filed against Edca.

Petitioners said Edca disregarded the national sovereignty, national interest and the requirement of an independent foreign policy under Article III Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution.

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They said Edca, which was signed last April in time for the visit of US President Barack Obama, made the Philippines a “launching pad for covert or overt US military operations.”

Under Edca, there are “agreed locations where US can have free access to conduct its activities.

But petitioners said there were no clear guidelines in identifying or selecting the agreed locations.

Also, they said there was no limit as to the number of troops and as to the duration of stay.

The petition stated that the US could stockpile weapons, ammunition, supplies and other materials to be used in war.

“The Philippines has no power to inspect the US prepositioned material and cannot object to the entry of nuclear, biological or chemical weaponry…Deploying forces and material includes the launching of military drones which have become not just surveillance planes but deadly offensive weapons.”

Petitioners are Bagong Alyansang Makabayan led by its Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr, Bayan Muna Partylist Representatives Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, Gabriela Partylist Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emerenciana De Jesus, ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon, Makabayan Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan) represented by Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza, Bienvenido Lumbera, Joel Lamangan, Renato Constantino, Salvador France, Rafael Mariano, Rogelio Soluta and Clemente Bautista.

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Respondents are Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista and members of the Philippine Negotiating Panel.

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TAGS: EDCA, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, House of Representatives, Makabayan, opposition, Philippines, Politics, Supreme Court, US
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