Defense agreement between PHL and U.S. is constitutional, says Palace

By on May 27, 2014

US Philippines

MANILA — Malacanang on Monday reaffirmed the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters during a press briefing that the Palace has anticipated that there will be “voices not in agreement” with the signing of the EDCA.

Lacierda was referring to a number of petitioners who are contesting the validity of the EDCA at the Supreme Court. Among them are former Senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tanada, former University of the Philippines President Francisco Nemenzo Jr., former President of St. Scholastica’s College Sr. Mary John Mananzan, former UP College of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin, and former Congressman Teddy Casiño.

The group on Monday filed a temporary restraining order before the High Tribunal to stop the implementation of the agreement.

“We are prepared to defend the constitutionality of the agreement,” Lacierda said.

“We believe that the government can ably support and defend the position in case a petition is filed — or if a petition has already been filed — before the Supreme Court,” he said.

EDCA was signed last April 28 by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.