MANILA (PNA) -– The Department of Foreign Affairs(DFA) on Tuesday said it is ready to defend the new military pact with the United States if there is a Supreme Court(SC) decision to refer the agreement to the Senate for concurrence.
But to the DFA, the pact, known as Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA is an “executive agreement,” which does not require legislative ratification, DFA spokesman Charles Jose said.
“If there is an order from the Supreme Court to submit the agreement to the Senate then the DFA is prepared to explain and defend it,” Jose said as some groups prepare to question the pact’s legality before the High Court.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has filed a resolution that seeks to clarify the content and coverage of the agreement, which allows an increased rotational presence of US troops to the country and grants them access to the country’s military installations, but under the supervision of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
It also allows the US to construct facilities, store equipment and increase the frequency of visits of its aircraft and vessels on a temporary basis.
Moreover, EDCA would enable the Philippines and US military to respond to disasters and provide humanitarian assistance in a swift and timely manner.
Designed to enhance the Philippine military’s capability and strengthen the country’s maritime defense, the DFA explained that the EDCA is merely an extension of the Philippines-US 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement between the two allies.
Manila and Washington have agreed to be guided by the Philippine Constitution in all the activities that will be undertaken under the agreement. (PNA) FPV/MDC/UTB