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FULL TEXT: Leonen cites 'Heneral Luna' in EDCA dissent

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - January 17, 2016 - 1:08am

MANILA, Philippines — A Supreme Court (SC) justice opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the legality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States using a line from the acclaimed Filipino produced film "Heneral Luna."

In his 58-page dissenting opinion, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen cited General Antonio Luna's conversation with Pedro Paterno, Felix Buencamino and Emilio Aguinaldo to support his views on the EDCA ruling.

“Para kayong mga birhen na naniniwala sa pag-ibig ng isang puta!" Leonen indicated in his dissenting comment.

In Jerrold Tarog’s film, the titular character is reacting to Paterno, Aguinaldo and Buencamino at an emergency Cabinet meeting, when they also agree with the Americans whom they claim would respect Philippine independence.

Leonen's opinion was made public following the high court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of EDCA after 10-4 votes last January 12. EDCA allows the increased rotational presence of United States military troops in the Philippines.

The magistrate voted against the EDCA saying it "emasculates" the law and disregards the sacrifices of Filipino martyrs.

“Effectively this court erases the blood, sweat and tears shed by our martyrs,” Leonen said. “I register more than my disagreement I mourn that this court has allowed this government to acquiesce into collective subservience to the Executive power contrary to the spirit of our basic law,” he added.

Leonen said he will remain opposed to the EDCA until it complies with Article XVIII Section 25 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, which provides that “the agreement must be in the form a treaty, the treaty must be duly concurred by the Philippine Senate and when required by Congress, ratified by majority of votes cast by the people in a national referendum and that the agreement is either recognized as treaty accepted or acknowledged as treaty by the US before it becomes valid, binding, and effective.”

"History will now record that in 2016, it is this Supreme Court that said yes to the EDCA. This decision now darkens the colors of what is left of our sovereignty as defined in our Constitution. The majority's take is the aftermath of squandered opportunity. We surrender to the dual narrative of expediency and a hegemonic view of the world from the eyes of a single superpower,” Leonen said.

The three other associate justices who dissented were Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, and Estela Perlas Bernabe while Associate Justice Francis Jardaleza inhibited.

A SUPREME COURT ACIRC AGUINALDO AND BUENCAMINO ARTURO BRION ASSOCIATE JUSTICE FRANCIS JARDALEZA ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARVIC LEONEN EDCA LEONEN QUOT SUPREME COURT UNITED STATES
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