Against bill asking Supreme Court to rule on VFA termination
Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Monday joined six other senators who abstained from voting on Senate Resolution (SR) 337 asking the Supreme Court (SC) to rule on whether or not the concurrence of the Senate is necessary in the abrogation of a treaty.
Go explained that President Rodrigo Duterte “as chief architect of foreign policy” has the “power and prerogative” to terminate treaties and the Senate must not dictate upon the SC as to how and when to do its job.
“I abstain from voting on proposed Resolution No. 337. First, let me reiterate my position that as Chief Executive and Chief Architect of our foreign policy, it is within the President’s power and prerogative to cause the review and termination of treaties taking into consideration the welfare of our nation,” Go manifested.
“Second, there are pending cases before the Supreme Court tackling the issue of whether or not Senate concurrence is necessary in terminating or withdrawing from a treaty. I believe that as a co-equal branch of the government, the Senate must not dictate upon the Supreme Court as to how and when to do its job,” he added.
A total of 12 senators voted to adopt SR 337 introduced by Senate President Vicente Sotto III along with Senators Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, Franklin Drilon, and Richard Gordon.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Senators Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, Nancy Binay, Lito Lapid, Francis Pangilinan, and Risa Hontiveros also voted to ask the SC to rule on treaty abrogation.
Aside from Go, those who abstained included Senators Ronald dela Rosa, Francis Tolentino, Aquilino Pimentel III, Cynthia Villar, Imee Marcos, and Ramon Revilla Jr.
Senators Manny Pacquiao and Pia Cayetano were not able to vote as they came in late.
Sotto filed the resolution after Duterte ordered the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States. (PR)