BY FORMER SENATOR R.A.V. SAGUISAG

EDCA PRIMER No. 1

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Q: What is required for an international agreement to be valid?

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A: Sec. 21 of Art. VII of the Cory Constitution says: “No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate.”

Q: Is the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) constitutional?

A: Permit me to doubt. Sec. 25 of Art. XVIII of the same Constitution says foreign “troops or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate . . .and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”

Q: How long will the EDCA last?

A: Thereunder, INITIALLY for ten years but there is automaticity an extension, so that my apos, eldest not quite six, may be affected.

Q: As a member of the Malevolent/ Magnificent Twelve who ended the presence of foreign troops of more than 400 uninterrupted years, you (RAVS) keep saying that EDCA is a rotten egg, can you lay a better one?

A: Let me try. The American should be asked to return the Bells of Balangiga, now in Fort Warren, just outside of Cheyenne, with another in South Korea. These trophies are Catholic Church’s property tahen in 1901. Then they should be asked to put troops and facilities in Ayungin and Scarborough. We should be ready to die to the last American.

Q: We are weak; can we defend our territory alone?

A: It is a question of heart, as shown by the Vietnamese in defeating the French and the Americans. And the U.S. and Japan will help, if it would be in their national interests to do so. EDCA or no EDCA. No permanent friends of enemies, only permanent interests. Japan was our foe in WW II when we were one huge military base of the US Japan successfully invaded us anyway.

Q: But, doesn’t EDCA only implement our Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951?

A: It is superseded by the 1987 Constitution and both our and American jurisprudence uphold the supercession theory.

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