SC junks ex-US senator’s intervention in EDCA case
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the bid of a former US senator to intervene in the case contesting the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States.

In session yesterday, the SC justices decided to deny the motion and petition to intervene filed by former Alaska senator Mike Gravel supporting earlier petitions filed by former senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tañada, Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement (Courage) seeking to strike down the EDCA.

The high court cited as basis for rejecting Gravel’s bid his admission of lack of interest and legal standing on the matter, SC spokesman Thedore Te told reporters in a press conference.

In his petition filed through lawyer Harry Roque Jr. last Nov. 11, Gravel said the agreement is a treaty that needs concurrence of the Philippine Senate.

Gravel, who served as US senator from 1969 to 1981, also argued that the agreement violated the Treaty Clause of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, saying it is “neither in the best interest of the Philippine people nor in the best interest of the American people.”

He argued that the EDCA was not really designed to protect Philippine interests but rather to afford the US a geographic advantage to confront China over the latter’s ascendant superpower status, which he said the US finds offensive to its global hegemonic status.

In the same resolution, the SC also took note of Senate Resolution No. 105 expressing the sense of the Senate on the need for its concurrence of EDCA.

Under the EDCA, the US will be allowed to build structures, store and preposition weapons, defense supplies and materiel, as well as station troops, civilian personnel, defense contractors, vessels and aircraft for a period of 10 years in the Philippines.

It was signed by officials of both countries hours before President Obama arrived in the country for his two-day state visit on April 28 and 29 last year. The SC is set to vote on the case on Dec. 16.            

BAYAN MUNA REPS ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT HARRY ROQUE JR. KILUSANG MAYO UNO MIKE GRAVEL NBSP NERI COLMENARES AND CARLOS ZARATE PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION PHILIPPINE SENATE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT OBAMA
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