Two members of the 1991 Senate that voted No to US bases to question EDCA before the SC today at 11 A.M.


Two members of the 1991 Senate that voted No to US bases question EDCA before the SC

Former Senators Rene A. V. Saguisag and Wigberto E. Tañada will file with the Supreme Court today a petition questioning the validity of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the government of the Philippines and the United States.

Saguisag and Tañada, it could be recalled, are among the “magnificent twelve” senators led by Senator Jovito Salonga who voted to kick the US military bases out of the Philippines in 1991.

Joining them in the Petition are former UP President, Dr. Francisco “Dodong” Nemenzo Jr., Dean Pacifico A. Agabin, Sr. Mary John Mananzan, Atty. Steve Salonga who is a son of former Senate President Jovito R. Salonga, lawyers Harry Roque, Evalyn Ursua and Edre Olalia, Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo and Dr. Roland Simbulan, and former Representative Teddy Casiño of Bayan.

The EDCA is being touted as a mere implementation of policies enshrined in the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the US and the Philippines.

The Petitioners, who are represented in the case by the Center for International Law, however argue that even so, it has no legal leg to stand on because the MDT has already been superseded by the 1987 Constitution which renounces war as a national policy.

For the first time, the constitutionality of the MDT itself is now being challenged before the High Court.

The EDCA also violates the ban on nuclear weapons in the country set in place by the 1987 Charter and deprives the Supreme Court of its constitutional prerogatives to review its constitutionality, according to their 65-page petition.

They also highlight the many disadvantages that the EDCA provides. Finally, the Petitioners argue that the EDCA is a treaty, and therefore requires Senate concurrence.

“Not only is the EDCA a violation of the Philippine Constitution,” the Petitioners said in their petition, “ it also does not provide any substantial, long-term real benefit, much less distinct advantage or improvement in our position vis-à-vis the United States.”

It would be remembered that in 1991, Senators Saguisag and Tañada, along with the ten another Senators led by then Senate President Salonga, rejected a proposed treaty would have extended the presence of the US military bases in the country for at least another 10 years.

The Petitioners say that the EDCA, which allows the US to build structures, store as well as preposition weapons, defense supplies and materiel, station troops, civilian personnel and defense contractors, transit and station vehicles, vessels, and aircraft, grants the Americans carta blanche power to establish and operate de facto military bases anywhere on Philippine soil, minus the cost of paying for one.

According to them, the terms and provisions of the EDCA are clearly lop-sided in favor of the Americans, leaving the Philippines with nothing more than empty promises of support in the event of a Chinese invasion of Philippine territories in the West Philippine Sea.

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3 comments on “Two members of the 1991 Senate that voted No to US bases to question EDCA before the SC today at 11 A.M.

  1. The 1991 magnificent act of the 12 Senator was just one brief shining moment in our History coz nothing follows after that. The winner of the immediate Presidential election in 1992 FVR never lift a finger to improve our AFP when the US left Subic, Clark and all US installations. The Chinese starts constructions in the shoals in 1993. Zero action to improve the AFP with all succeeding Presidents after the 1992 Infidel to the present Tuwid Boy who in desperation will sign anything for the US to protect us from the Chinese invading all our islets in the West Phil Sea. By the way FVR was never investigated as to what happened to the P30 billion proceeds of the Sale of Fort Boni.

  2. Alexius Calda says:

    Tnx po.

  3. gary says:

    How i wish those magnificent twelve were truly magnificent. their myopic vision and false sense of patriotism left the Philippines open to intrusion and potential external aggression that was check only by the security umbrella that the U.S. bases provided for decades. like it or not we don’t have the capability to defend our territory when they voted to “kick out” the U.S. forces from our country. don’t get me wrong i am not pro-American .but those Senators including this two should have studied the outcome of their actions. a security vacuum.

    and now with chinese intrusion into our territory this same people with nothing better to do will again question and spout their mouths on a defense agreement that we clearly need.

    A defense capability is not free and not cheap. and you can not dictate to an ally that you are asking for help where and what he should do to his forces to satisfy your ego, when you have no capability to contribute.

    This people always blab about the violation of the Philippine constitution. is it not that a constitution exist to protect the country and its people? what good is the constitution if it cannot protect our territory? progressive countries like the UK , Germany , Japan , South Korea has large U.S. forces permanently base in their country. why? because they are realistic and practical about that.

    The failure of the Philippine government to prepare,plan and institute a realistic build-up of the AFP for our external defense decades after the american departure is a legacy of this magnificent people. for our sake lets not repeat that again.

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