MANILA, May 12 (Mabuhay) – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano clarified on Monday that no Senate rules will be violated if there will be hearings presided separately by Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Miriam Defensor Santiago on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) signed between the United States and the Philippines.
Trillanes is the chair of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security while Santiago is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Both Trillanes and Santiago earlier called for separate investigations into the EDCA, specifically on the additional number of American troops who will participate in the Balikatan exercises.
According to Cayetano, there will be no conflict if ever the two Senate committees will conduct separate hearings on the EDCA issue.
Cayetano cited an instance that the Congress have had such kind of issue in the past where there was a clash of jurisdiction which was heard both by two Senate committees but not on the same period of time.
Cayetano sided with Trillanes wherein his committee has a 100-percent jurisdiction over the issue of what is the content of the EDCA.
On the other hand, Cayetano explained that the question of Santiago is also important since it is whether the EDCA is a treaty which should be ratified by the Senate.
Likewise, Cayetano advised that it would be better if the two senators will conduct a joint committee hearing on the EDCA issue. (MNS)