Biazon: New US deal might need Senate concurrence

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014


THE Aquino government might need to submit the proposed increased rotational presence (IRP) agreement with the United States to the Senate for scrutiny, a former senator said Tuesday.

Muntinlupa Representatives Rodolfo Biazon said the Senate should be furnished a copy of the agreement so that every member of the chamber will have a chance to study if it needs the legislative body's concurrence or not.

Biazon, a former senator, said that he cannot determine for now if the agreement between the Philippines and US needs Senate concurrence or just consider the same as an executive agreement until after it is submitted to the chamber.

"Kaya hindi pa natin mabubusisi ito hanggat ito ay naisumite na sa Senado o sa Kongreso. Ang tanong, ito ba ay nangangailanga ng ratification o concurrence by the Senate?" the chairperson of the House committee on national defense said.

Biazon said 1987 Constitution states that treaties should be concurred in by the Senate and in effect would ratify the treaty or agreement.

"Ang nakalagay sa ating Constitution ay ganito, kung ang isang kasunduan ay one, political in nature... two, permanent in nature, and three will require changing some of our existing national policies," he said.

The former military chief said the Constitution states that presence of foreign military bases and foreign military troops in the Philippines must be covered by an international treaty ratified by the Senate.

The former senator also said the agreement should also identify who will finance the need to expanded airports/airstrips, piers and setting up facilities inside the military camps that will be made available for use by the US forces.

"Ang tanong diyan, sino ang gagastos? Kung tayo ang gagastos kailangan Congressional Act dahil ilalagay natin yan sa budget and the budget is a law," he said.

The power to ratify is in the hands of the Senators while the power to appropriate originates from the House of Representatives. (Sunnex)

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