MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III has expressed confidence that the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States will stand legal scrutiny even if it is challenged before the Supreme Court.
“Will it stand scrutiny? Yes. Will there be people who will try to derail it? Yes, also. But we are reasonably confident that anybody looking at it objectively will be able to say that we have met all the stipulations in the Constitution,” Aquino told reporters Sunday after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Myanmar.
He issued the statement after groups and individuals, among them Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares, said they will be challenging EDCA before the SC.
Aquino, however, said the panel which negotiated the agreement consistently reported to him and ensured that the deal adheres with the Philippine Constitution.
EDCA was signed two weeks ago, hours before US President Barack Obama arrived in the Philippines for his first state visit.
The agreement grants US troops access to designated Philippine military facilities, the right to construct facilities, and pre-position equipment, aircraft and vessels. (MNS)