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Definition of "Treaties" in the revised IRR

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Definition of "Treaties" in the revised IRR

Post by RDV @ GP3i on Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:36 pm

I noticed that there is something wrong with the definition of “treaties” (a new provision) in Section 5(cc) of the revised IRR.

It defined “Treaties” as referring to “international agreements entered into by the GOP which require legislative ratification after executive concurrence.”

It seems that the IRR definition has interchanged the terms “ratification” and “concurrence.” It ascribed ratification to the legislature and concurrence to the executive department.

Under Executive Order No. 459 (PROVIDING FOR THE GUIDELINES IN THE NEGOTIATION OF INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND ITS RATIFICATION), it defines “treaties” as “international agreements entered into by the Philippines which require legislative concurrence after executive ratification. This term may include compacts like conventions, declarations, covenants and acts.” That same definition was carried in Abaya vs. Ebdane (G.R. 167919).

Likewise in a compilation prepared by Atty Edwin Rey Sandoval entitled: “Three Hundred and Six (306) Questions and Answers in Political Law and Public International Law (Culled from Significant Laws and Decisions of the Supreme Court)” the following question and answer appeared:

"Who has the power to ratify a treaty?

Held: In our jurisdiction, the power to ratify is vested in the President and not, as commonly believed, in the legislature. The role of the Senate is limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. (BAYAN v. Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora, G.R. 138570, Oct. 10, 2000, En Banc [Buena])"link

That is also consistent with the 1987 Philippine Constitution which contains two provisions requiring the concurrence of the Senate on treaties or international agreements.

Section 21, Article VII, reads: “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.”

Section 25, Article XVIII, provides: “After the expiration in 1991 of the Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America concerning Military Bases, foreign military bases, troops, or facilities shall not be allowed in the Philippines except under a treaty duly concurred in by the Senate and, when the Congress so requires, ratified by a majority of the votes cast by the people in a national referendum held for that purpose, and recognized as a treaty by the other contracting State.”

In view of the foregoing observations, I subscribe that the definition of treaties has to be amended also.

RDV
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