By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen has questioned the Senate’s practice of approval of treaties, which included clause that requires its concurrence from the withdrawal despite it pending approval from the Senate.
Mr. Leonen asked Senator Francis N. Pangilinan whether Resolution 286 led by the senate minority which expressed the “sense of the Senate regarding the requirements for a concurrence for a withdrawal.
“The matter was not adopted by the Senate although 14 senators has signed the resolution. It maybe adapted at some point in future time but unfortunately other resolutions and other pending bill had to be addressed or tackled by the Senate and therefore this was not officially acted upon,” Mr. Pangilinan said.
He clarified, however that it is not rejected but only not calendared for adaption.
Mr. Pangilinan said that they have passed and ratified 17 treaties with the specific provision of the requirement of senate concurrence for withdrawal.
Mr. Leonen, however, questioned its applicability in the ratification of the Rome Statute.
Now going back to Senate Resolution 546 which ratifies the Rome Statute, is there such a clause?” he asked.
“In that particular Rome Statue, the clause is not present,” Mr. Pangilinan said, affirming that resolution prior to the 17 treaties does not also have the said provision.
“This has now become the position of the senate in terms of treaties that it would require a concurrence of the Senate should there be any withdrawal,” he also said.
Six senators filed before the Supreme Court a petition for certiori and mandamus seeking to declare the withdrawal as “invalid or ineffective,” claiming that it needed concurrence of at least two-thirds of the senators, and to compel the executive department to cancel, revoke, or withdraw its instrument of withdrawal.
They cited the Article VII Section 21 of the Constitution which states that “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.”
The petition was filed by Pangilinan, Franklin M. Drilon, Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV, Leila M. de Lima, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, and Antonio F. Trillanes IV.
The Philippines submitted its withdrawal from International Criminal Court to the UN Secretary-General in March following the announcement of the international court that it will conduct preliminary examination against the president over its alleged crime against humanity over its war against illegal drugs.
By Vann Marlo M. Villegas