Guevarra: VFA termination needs no senate concurrence

Published February 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Jeffrey Damicog 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Wednesday, Feb. 12, the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) needs no concurrence from the Legislative.

The Secretary pointed this out as some senators have conveyed their intent to question before the Supreme Court (SC) President Duterte’s decision to terminate the VFA.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (Screenshot / RTVM / PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (Screenshot / RTVM / PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“There is nothing in the Constitution that requires the concurrence of the Senate when it comes to termination of treaties,” Guevarra told reporters.

“Although a treaty is considered part of the law of the land, it does not belong to the class of ordinary statutes that pass through the entire legislative process; i.e., its abrogation is not similar to the repeal of an ordinary statute,” he explained.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier aired the sentiments of fellow senators that Duterte should have consulted with the Senate first before deciding to abrogate the VFA.

Because of this, Sotto said that some senators might bring this up before the SC.

“Whether the President should at least consult the senate is manifestly a political question that the supreme court will certainly refuse to resolve,” Guevarra pointed out.

Despite this, the Secretary welcomed plans of senators to raise the issue the issue of the VFA termination before the SC.

“Senators may of course bring up the issue of the VFA termination to the Supreme Court if they are minded to do so,” he said.

READ MORE: VFA abrogation underway