By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday threw her support behind Senate Resolution No. 337 that seeks the guidance of the Supreme Court (SC) in ending international treaties like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Robredo said she agreed with the senators about asking the SC whether or not the treaty abrogation needs Senate concurrence, noting that the reason behind the termination should not be “whimsical and petty.”
“Nararapat lang na tanungin ng Senado iyong Supreme Court na ano ba talaga iyong papel ng Senado pagdating sa pag-abrogate ng mga agreements, considering na kasali sila sa pag-approve,” she told reporters in Tanay, Rizal.
(It is appropriate that the Senate ask the Supreme Court what really is the Senate’s role when it comes to the abrogation of agreements, in which they were part of the approval.)
“Iyong pinag-aaralan hindi lang iyong pagpasok sa isang agreement, pero dapat paglabas sa isang agreement, kailangang pag-aralan din nang wasto,” Robredo added.
(We have to study not only when we enter into agreement, but we also need to study very well when we withdraw from it.)
While she supports the Senate resolution, Robredo said she hoped the High Court would decide on the matter once and for all when the senators file the petition.
Voting 12-0-7, Resolution No. 337 was adopted on Monday by the upper chamber. This would pave the way for the filing of a petition before the SC possibly on March 5.
The move of the majority of the senators follows the unilateral withdrawal of President Rodrigo Duterte from the Philippines-United States VFA without Senate concurrence.
The Philippines has already sent the formal notice of VFA termination to the U.S. that will take effect after 180 days.
Robredo was pleased with the senators who crossed party lines and adopted the resolution, saying they have given hope to Filipinos.
“Binibigyan tayo ng pag-asa na kahit papaano, iyong majority sa mga miyembro ng Senado independent pa din mag-isip, na ang iniisip iyong kapakanan pa din ng ating bansa, na hindi sumusunod lamang na nakapikit lamang ang mata sa kagustuhan ng Pangulo,” she said.
(We are somehow given hope the majority of the Senate members still think independently, that they still think of the country’s welfare and they just don’t follow with shut eyes the President’s wishes.)