The Daily Manila Shimbun


Senate approval needed to end treaty, say 14 senators

February 13, 2017

Fourteen senators believe that the Upper House should have a say when a treaty or international agreement concurred by the Senate is terminated or abrogated.

The 14 lawmakers filed on Monday a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the termination of any treaty and international agreement concurred in by the Senate should not be valid without the concurrence of the chamber.

Senate Resolution No. 289 is titled “Resolution 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.”

The resolution was principally authored by Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon. The 13 other senators were Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, Minority Leader Ralph Recto, Senators Benigno Aquino IV, Leila De Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Miguel Zubiri, Gregorio Honasan, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Sonny 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,” it emphasizes.

“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,” the resolution states.

Article VII, Section 21 of the Constitution provides” that “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.”

The principle of checks and balances, historical precedent and practice accepted as law in most jurisdictions, and the Constitution’s dictate for a shared treaty-making power, according to the resolution, require “that a termination, withdrawal, abrogation or renunciation of a treaty or international agreement can only be done with the same authority that gave it effect – executive ratification with Senate concurrence.”  DMS