MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III may be impeached over the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) of the Philippines and the United States, according to Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Thursday.
Aquino may be held liable by agreeing with the provisions in the EDCA, according to Santiago, who is also the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee said.
EDCA is a 10-year deal entered by the country with the US to allow greater American military presence in the country.
“These are culpable violations of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust, for allowing a foreign government to maintain military bases without Senate concurrence,” the senator said.
Santiago remained firm on her stand on the violations committed by the President upon signing the agreement.
This is despite the fact that the House of Representatives has earlier junked an impeachment complaint filed against Aquino, earlier this year, over the EDCA.
The senator said that the establishment of foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country are prohibited by the constitution except under a treaty that is duly concurred in by the Senate.
“Contrary to the claim that the EDCA does not involve the establishment of military bases, the EDCA gives the US rights of possession, control, and use over areas of Philippine territory described as ‘Agreed Locations,” she said. “These rights amount to the maintenance of military bases in the Agreed Locations.”
“The Constitution is categorical. It requires Senate concurrence whether the document is called a treaty or any other international agreement,” the senator said.
“Under the Senate Rules, no proceeding before any government agency can inhibit the Senate from conducting its own proceedings,” she said.