The Senate of the Philippines voted today demanding that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) should be submitted by the Office of the President to Senate for concurrence. Senate Resolution No. 1414, authored by Senator Miriam Santiago, was adopted with 15 affirmative votes, 1 negative, and three abstentions.
Miriam Defensor Santiago, Juan Edgardo Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Chiz Escudero, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Manuel Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Sergio Osmeña III, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar and Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto voted in favor of the said resolution.
“We begin with the confidence that Senate Resolution No. 1414 is an expression of Constitution Law on the matter of critical importance to the integrity of the Senate and the honor of this Republic,” Santiago said.
Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV voted against Senate Resolution No. 1414, while Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile abstained. Senators Pia Cayetano and Bam Aquino, who were not present during the voting, later manifested their affirmation and abstention, respectively.
“The EDCA is merely an implementing agreement, which is intended to implement the rights and obligations already previously provided under the Mutual Defense Treaty, the VFA and the UN Charter,” Trillanes said in his interpellation. “No new rights or obligations are created under EDCA.”
“It is hereby resolved by the Senate that the RP-US EDCA treaty requires Senate concurrence, in order to be valid and effective,” – Senate Resolution No. 1414
“Further, it is resolved that this resolution, expressing the strong sense of the Senate, be formally submitted to the Supreme Court through the Chief Justice,” the resolution said.
EDCA is currently at the Supreme Court after several entities questioned its constitutionality.