Government lawyers on Tuesday maintained that the country’s Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States is a valid executive agreement that does not need Senate concurrence.
In a final effort to defend the EDCA before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, in a 42-page memorandum, said referring the EDCA to the Senate, as insisted by petitioners, is unnecessary and would only cause delay.
Hilbay also said sending the deal for the Senate’s approval would “diminish the President’s powers and result in an international embarrassment for the President, adversely affecting the country’s standing in the international community.”
He also said sending the EDCA to the Senate would amount to a declaration against the EDCA for non-compliance with Article XVIII, Section 25 of the Philippine Constitution.
Hilbay pointed out that the petitioners will surely demand the nullification of the deal itself in case it passes the Senate.