14 senators’ resolution: Senate has a say in termination of treaties

Camille Elemia
'The power to bind the Philippines by a treaty and international agreement is vested jointly by the Constitution in the President and the Senate,' reads the Senate resolution

TREATIES. Majority of senators filed a resolution declaring that the Senate has a say in the termination of international treaties and agreement. File photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Majority of senators filed a resolution declaring that the Senate has a say in the termination of any treaty or international agreement.

Senate Resolution No. 289, “expressing the sense of the Senate that termination of, or withdrawal from, treaties and international agreements concurred in by the Senate shall be valid and effective only upon concurrence by the Senate,” was filed on Monday, February 13.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte himself declared intentions to scrap the Philippines-US Visiting Forces Agreement and to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Principally authored by Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon, the resolution was signed by 13 other senators as co-authors: Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Minority Leader Ralph Recto, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Miguel Zubiri, Gregorio Honasan II, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Juan Edgardo Angara, and Joel Villanueva.

“The power to bind the Philippines by a treaty and international agreement is vested jointly by the Constitution in the President and the Senate,” the resolution stated, also citing the principle of checks and balances in government.

Article VII, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution states “no treaty of international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate.”

“A treaty or international agreement ratified by the President and concurred in by the Senate becomes part of the law of the land and may not be undone without the shared power that put it into effect,” it added. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com