Senators vote to seek SC word on VFA

THE Senate yesterday adopted a resolution asking the Supreme Court to rule whether the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States needs Senate concurrence.

Voting 12-0-7, the Senate adopted Senate Resolution 337 or Resolution Asking the Honorable Supreme Court of the Philippines to rule on whether or not the concurremce of the Senate is necessary in the abrogation of a treaty previously concurred in by the upper chamber.

Those who voted in favor of the resolution were Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, Senators Ralph Recto, Migz Zubiri, Franklin Drilon, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Kiko Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Lito Lapid, Richard Gordon and Joel Villanueva.

Meanwhile Senators Cynthia Villar, Koko Pimentel, Imee Marcos, Bong Go, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino and Bato dela Rosa abstained from voting.

After the voting, Drilon stood up and aired his sentiments.

“This is my 21st year in this chamber and it makes me so sad that even on just simple resolution which would authorize the body to bring a matter to Supreme Court, we couldn’t even get a unanimous vote. All that we are asking the Supreme Court is to define our constitutional boundaries, nothing else, nothing more. We are not dictating the Supreme Court,” Drilon said.

This was answered by dela Rosa saying that he was also saddened by the fact that the majority block of the Senate didn’t get the majority vote on the resolution.

“Ako magpapalabas din ako ng sama ng loob, na it also saddened on our part dahil we belong to the majority group but we can’t give the majority vote. We are the majority coalition here, but we don’t have the majority vote,” dela Rosa said.

At this point, Lacson stood up and said “I just would like to disabuse the mind of my former comrade-in-arms in the PNP. I voted not against the President. I voted for the institution where I belong called the Senate of the Philippines.”