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Harry Roque

Rep. Harry Roque supports Duterte’s possible abrogation of EDCA

The President may abrogate Philippine commitments under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) by himself because, as we have argued for so long, the document is not even a treaty – lopsided as it already is in favor of American interests – and it is well within his prerogative as chief architect of the nation’s foreign policy.

That it is within presidential prerogative to recall a treaty for any international agreement for that matter is ironically confirmed by US law and practice.

The Third Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States – an authoritative commentary on international law and international relations– states thus: [T]he President has the power: (a) to suspend or terminate an agreement in accordance with its terms; [and] (b) to make the determination that would justify the United States in terminating or suspending an agreement because of its violation by another party or because of supervening events, and to proceed to terminate or suspend the agreement on behalf of the United States.[1]

In so far as contemporary American practice itself is concerned, a leading American legal scholar, Prof. Henkin, has likewise opined that “[a]t the end of the twentieth century, it is apparently accepted that the President has authority under the Constitution to denounce or otherwise terminate a treaty. . .”[2]

In any case, the US has not and does not even treat the EDCA as well as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), from which EDCA is traced by Philippine authorities, as a treaty. Both of these documents have not been ratified by the US Senate. VFA, on the other hand, has had to go through the constitutional process through the treaty clause of the 1987 charter. EDCA was justified by the Supreme Court as a mere ancillary agreement proceeding from the VFA itself.

In our system, as our Supreme Court has held in Pimentel v. Executive Secretary, in which we lost a challenge to the initial decision of the Chief Executive (then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) not to send the ratification papers of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to the Senate for the latter’s concurrence under the Treaty Clause:

The President, being the head of state, is regarded as the sole organ and authority in external relations and is the country’s sole representative with foreign nations. As the chief architect of foreign policy, the President acts as the country’s mouthpiece with respect to international affairs. Hence, the President is vested with the authority to deal with foreign states and governments, extend or withhold recognition, maintain diplomatic relations, enter into treaties, and otherwise transact the business of foreign relations. In the realm of treaty-making, the President has the sole authority to negotiate with other states.[3]

The President can withhold the ratification papers of a treaty from the Senate. He can likewise decide to abrogate treaty commitments as the chief architect of Philippine foreign policy.

In any case, President Duterte is not without precedent from American practice itself. We can cite US President George W. Bush, who “unsigned” the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) and had earlier been signed by his predecessor, Bill Clinton.

Unlike the US, the Philippines remains a party to the world’s first permanent international criminal tribunal established to try the most heinous of international crimes. In fact, a Filipino sits as a judge at the IC, former UP College of Law Dean and former Inquirer publisher Raul Cano Pangalangan, who just made a name for himself by sentencing an ISIS member to a jail term for the war crime of the destruction of a historical site, in a landmark ruling.

The US reason for unsigning, of course, is that it does not want to be subject to such an international mechanism for accountability for international crimes.

But again, the Rome Statute is a treaty, while the EDCA is not under US practice, so there is all the more reason for President Duterte to withdraw our commitments to the EDCA.

In the case of President Duterte, his decision to abrogate from the EDCA, if it comes to that, is for the interest of the Filipino people, precisely because the EDCA in an unequal agreement. As shown by the case of Jennifer Laude, like the VFA, the EDCA continues to prioritize the welfare of US servicemen on Philippine soil and makes short shift of Philippine sovereignty.

Moreover, by the smallest measure of subterfuge, the EDCA violates the constitutional provision that no foreign military bases may be allowed on Philippine soil except under a treaty ratified by the Senate (Section 25, Article XVIII).

In addition, contrary to claims by American and Philippine authorities, there is no provision at all in the agreement expressly obligating the US armed forces to transfer military hardware and technology to the AFP, under EDCA.

 

[1] RESTATEMENT (THIRD) OF THE FOREIGN RELATIONS LAW OF THE UNITED STATES § 339 (1987)

[2] LOUIS HENKIN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION (2d ed. 1996)

[3] G.R. No. 158088, July 6, 2005

KABAYAN sa Aklan

KABAYAN sa Kalibo

KABAYAN sa Kalibo

Mayad-ayad nga hapon, Kalibo!
Saeamat sa inyong pagtanggap sa Team KABAYAN Party List!
Pangabay iboto KABAYAN Party List, #30 sa inyong balota!

#KABAYANPartyList #30KABAYANPartyList #HarryRoque

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– http://www.kabayanparty.com/2016/05/kabayan-sa-aklan/

KABAYAN sa Cauayan, Isabela

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Atty Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Cauayan, Isabela 4March2016

Naimbag nga bigat yu amin, Cauayan!
Salamat sa inyong pagtanggap sa KABAYAN Party List. Agyaman kami apo!

Sumama po kami nang dumalo si UNA standard bearer Jejemar Binay sa kanyang probinsiya, Isabela.

Pakiboto po KABAYAN Party List, #30 sa inyong balota!

#KABAYANPartyList #30KABAYANPartyList #HarryRoque

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– http://www.kabayanparty.com/2016/05/kabayan-sa-cauayan-isabela/

KABAYAN congratulates 2015 Bar Topntocher

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Bar topnotcher Rachel Miranda (first on the left) with the rest of the members of the University of the Philippines Moot Team that won the 2015 Oxford Price Moot Court Competition in Oxford, UK on March 28, 2015: Pauline Gairanod, Apessa Chungalao, Macel Sen More →

KABAYAN sa Mariveles, Bataan!

KABAYAN sa Mariveles Bataan

KABAYAN sa Mariveles Bataan

Magandang tanghali, Mariveles! Mainit po pero maalwan ang tanghali dahil sa inyong pagtanggap sa amin.

Bumisita po kami sa Mariveles at umikot sa ibang bahagi ng Bataan kasama si United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard bearer, Jejomar Binay.

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Gab-i na ta, Brgy Tisa!

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Atty Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Tisa, Cebu City

Madamo nga salamat, mga KABAYAN sa Brgy. Tisa, Cebu!
Kasadya mag-fiesta ang Team Rama sa Tisa!

Palihog botoha ninyo ang Kabayan Party List #30 sa balota

‪#‎harryroque #kabayanparty

 

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Thank you, Wao, Lanao del Sur!

Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Wao, Lanao del Sur

Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Wao, Lanao del Sur

Thank you very much to our KABAYAN in Wao, Lanao del Sur for the privilege to visit your province. We are very proud to have witnessed the signing of an all-inclusive and constitution-based peace agreement among the parties taking part in the elections on May 9.

Wao_Lanao Del Sur_21April16_3More →

Pemberton Appeals his Homicide Conviction before the CA

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton is asking the Court of Appeals to reverse the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court’s decision that found him guilty of homicide for the killing of transgender Jennifer Laude. Atty. Harry Roque represented the Laude family as a private prosecutor. Pemberton’s lawyer, Atty. Rowena Garcia Flores sent a notice dated 18 April 2016 […] More →

KABAYAN para sa Karapatan na Makakuha ng Tubig

Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Opol, Misamis Oriental

Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Opol, Misamis Oriental

Binabati po ni Atty Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List ang pamunuan ng Opol, Misamis Oriental sa kanilang proyekto na naglalayong matustusan ang tamang pangangailangan sa tubig ng munisipalidad.

Opol_Water_20April16_1More →

Daghang salamat, Sarangani!

KABAYAN Party List's Atty. Harry Roque in Sarangani

KABAYAN Party List’s Atty. Harry Roque in Sarangani

Daghang salamat sa inyong mainit na pagtanggap, Sarangani, tahanan ng pambansang kamao! Ito po ang unang pagkakataon na humarap at opisyal na nangampanya si Manny Pacquiao pagkataps ng laban niya kay Timothy Bradley.

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KABAYAN sa Pansol!

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Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Pansol, Quezon City

Salamat po sa ating mga KABAYAN sa Pansol, Quezon City sa pagkakataon na makadaupang-palad kayo. Kayo po ang mga tao na hangad namin na mapaglingkuran!

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Magandang gabi, Governor Generoso!

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Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List sa Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental

Salamat sa isang gabi ng pakikipagkwentuhan sa mga taga-Governor Generoso, ang fishing capital ng Davao Oriental!

Dinalaw ng inyong KABAYAN Party List ang munisipalidad ng Governor Generoso, dating kilala bilang Sigaboy hanggang 1948. Ang Governor Generoso ay tahanan ng kulay rosas na beach, mga parola, at mga taong matatag.

Pero ayon kay Atty. Harry Roque ng KABAYAN Party List, higit na kahanga-h More →

Araw at Gabi sa Zamboanga del Norte

Team KABAYAN Party List sa Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte Salamat po sa mga taga zamboanga del Norte sa inyong mainit na pagtanggap, araw at gabi, sa inyong KABAYAN Party List! Team KABAYAN Party List sa Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte More →