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TREATY-MAKING IN THE PHILIPPINES

Prepared by: Arnel D. Mateo


What is a treaty?
Under Philippine Laws, Treaties are 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.[1]
Under International Law, Treaty means an international agreement concluded between States in
written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or in
two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation.[2]
Not all international agreements are governed by international law. The convention applies only
to those which are governed by the domestic law of one of the parties or some other national
law chosen by the parties.[3]

What is an executive Agreement?
Executive Agreements similar to treaties except that they do not require legislative
concurrence.[4]

What is the distinction between a treaty and an executive agreement?
The difference between the two is sometimes difficult of ready ascertainment.[5] Under
international law, there is no difference between treaties and executive agreements in their
binding effect upon states concerned, as long as the negotiating functionaries have remained











within their powers.[6] International law continues to make no distinction between treaties and
executive agreements: they are equally binding obligations upon nations.[7]
In our jurisdiction, we have recognized the binding effect of executive agreements even without
the concurrence of the Senate or Congress. Generally, treaties of any kind, whether bilateral or
multilateral, require Senate concurrence[8] while executive agreements may be validly entered
into without such concurrence.[9]
The members of the Constitutional Commission acknowledged the distinction between a treaty
and an executive agreement during their deliberations of Section 21 Article VII. One of the
issues in the discussions was trying to identify the kind of international agreements that require
Senate concurrence.
Commissioner Joaquin Bernas made a clarification by quoting from the decision of the Supreme
Court in the case of Commissioner of Customs vs. Eastern Sea Trading:
The right of the executive to enter into binding agreements without the necessity of subsequent
Congressional approval has been confirmed by long usage. From the earliest days of our history,
we have entered into executive agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular
relations, most favored nation rights, patent rights, trademark and copyright protection, postal
and navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims. The validity of this has never been
seriously questioned by our Courts.
Agreements with respect to the registration of trademarks have been concluded by the executive
and various countries under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1881 (21 Stat. 502) . . .
International agreements involving political issues or changes of national policy and those
involving international agreements of a permanent character usually take the form of treaties. But
international agreements embodying adjustments of detail, carrying out well established national
policies and traditions and those involving arrangements of a more or less temporary nature
usually take the form of executive agreements.[10]











Commissioner Bernas further explained that international agreements, which require Senate
concurrence, are those, which are permanent in nature. Also, if it is with prior authorization from
Congress, it does not need subsequent concurrence by Congress.[11]
The Department of Foreign Affairs in its press release[12] said that in executive agreement, there
is no fundamental change in policy, nor will there be need for legislation to fund the agreement.
It does not impinge on any existing international legal obligation.

What is the rationale for distinguishing a treaty form an executive agreement?

The distinction between a treaty or international agreement and an executive agreement is of
great significance in the Philippines because the procedure followed in the process of ratification
is different.
If what is involved is a treaty, the concurrence by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the
Senate is required.[13] On the other hand, if what is involved is an executive, there is no such
requirement.

What is the procedure for determining whether an agreement is a treaty or an executive
agreement?

a. Internal procedure within the Office of the President and the DFA

In 1988, the Office of the President issued Memorandum Circular 89 to set the guidelines in case
of conflict as to whether an agreement is a treaty or an executive agreement. The Legal Adviser
of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Assistant Secretary on Legislative Affairs
and the Senate will be given opportunity to comment on the nature of the agreement.
Consultation shall be made with the leadership of the Senate. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs
shall make the proper recommendation to the President.[14]
In 1997, Executive Order 459 was issued and under Sec. 9 thereof, the DFA determines the
nature of an agreement. Said Executive Order is silent if the determination by the DFA of the
nature of agreement can be overturned by the President or not.









If asked which of the two issuances is prevailing, as a rule, being a later act, E.O. 459 is
controlling. However, newly appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio Eduardo
Nachura, and prominent authors in international law Jorge Coquia and Senator Miriam Defensor
Santiago (Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations before adjournment of the
13th Congress) are of the opinion that Memorandun Circular 89 is still binding.[15]

What is the current framework for trade negotiations?

a. Who has the power to negotiate or make treaties?

The President has the power to make treaties implicitly in the general grant of authority in
Section 1, Article VII that The executive power is vested in the President of the Philippines, in
particular as this is applied in foreign relations.[16]
By constitutional fiat and by the intrinsic nature of his office, the President, as head of State, is
the sole organ and authority in the external affairs of the country.[17] In many ways, the
President is the chief architect of the nations foreign policy; his dominance in the field of
foreign relations is (then) conceded.[18] Wielding vast powers an influence, his conduct in the
external affairs of the nation, as Jefferson describes, is executive altogether."[19]
Since the President is the head of state in the system of government of the Philippines, he is the
authority in the countrys external or foreign relations.[20] Being vested with diplomatic powers,
the President formulates foreign policy, deals with international affairs, represents the state with
foreign nations, maintains diplomatic relations, and enters into treaties or international













agreements. Likewise, the power granted to the Senate to concur in treaties[21] is to be
interpreted as referring to treaties which the President makes and submits to the Senate for
concurrence.
Normally, it is the Head of State or the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who binds States
in treaties. These persons do not need to produce evidence of full powers to conclude a treaty.
Treaty ratification is one of the incidents of their position. For purposes of adopting a text to a
treaty, the head of the diplomatic mission or accredited representatives of States to an
international conference or one of its organs are empowered to authenticate or accredit the text of
a treaty. If an act was performed without authorization or without the full powers, a treaty can
still be given force and effect provided it is subsequently confirmed by the State.[22]

b. Working procedure
Justice Isagani Cruz, in his book on International Law, describes the treaty-making process in
this wise[23]:
The usual steps in the treaty-making process are: negotiation, signature, ratification, and
exchange of the instruments of ratification. The treaty may then be submitted for registration
and publication under the U.N. Charter, although this step is not essential to the validity of the
agreement as between the parties.
1. Negotiation may be undertaken directly by the head of state but he now usually assigns this
task to his authorized representatives. These representatives are provided with credentials known
as full powers, which they exhibit to the other negotiators at the start of the formal discussions. It
is standard practice for one of the parties to submit a draft of the proposed treaty which, together
with the counter-proposals, becomes the basis of the subsequent negotiations. The negotiations
may be brief or protracted, depending on the issues involved, and may even collapse in case
the parties are unable to come to an agreement on the points under consideration.
In the Philippines, the negotiation phase of the treaty making process is essentially performed
and controlled by the Executive branch of the government through the Department of Foreign
Affairs and the respective government agencies involved. Once a treaty proposal is received by
the Government the Department of Foreign is tasked to determine whether or not said agreement
is a treaty or an executive agreement. It is the Chief Executive, through the recommendation of
the DFA Secretary, who designates the persons who will comprise the Philippine delegation and
the departments, which will be involved and consulted in the negotiation.
Pursuant to Executive Order 459, the lead agency in the negotiation of a treaty or an executive
agreement or any amendment thereto shall convene a meeting of the panel members prior to the







commencement of any negotiations for the purpose of establishing the parameters of the
negotiating position of the panel. No deviation from the agreed parameters shall be made without
prior consultation with the members of the negotiating panel.
The panel of negotiators is normally composed of several individuals from the different agencies
of government who are technical experts and resource persons in certain areas of specialization.
This group of persons is normally referred to as technical working groups. A treaty, which has
far-reaching effects on the different industries, may involve several technical working groups.
The technical working groups would meet and outline the Philippine position and embody this
position in writing. Ideally, the Philippine position must be in conformity with the outlined
policies, development goals and targets of the government and in general pursue Philippine
interest.
During the negotiation process, negotiators of each State party would meet and discuss to arrive
at a mutually beneficial arrangement. Battles over semantics and phrasing are normal in treaty
negotiations. This stage is very tedious and negotiators must be very vigilant in looking at each
particular provision. Before concurring to a particular provision, said negotiator must agree to it
only after consultation with other negotiators and evaluate if it is in conformity with the outlined
Philippine position. In issues of primordial importance or high significance, public consultation
must be performed to be able to determine its overall impact on the industries that are affected or
parties who will be prejudiced. Negotiators aside from being experts must be strong, assertive
and emphatic in pursuing the Philippine position. Disagreements among the negotiators over
certain provisions is also normal, but some experienced negotiators have perfected the art of
inserting provisions in unexpected sections or rephrasing rejected provisions to make it appear
acceptable. The quote timing is everything finds application in the art negotiations, some
negotiators will invoke provisions of doubtful validity, during such times when negotiators of the
other party are already quite tired or weary from long hours spent on text analysis, interpretation
and revision. Once a final draft of the agreement is reached, it will be sent to the office of the
Chief Executive who will signify his approval. If he approves the agreement, he will forward it
to the Office of the Executive Secretary, who in turn, will attest, to the authenticity and veracity
of the text signed or ratified. The Office of the Executive Secretary receives texts in their final
form but can override these agreements on broad grounds of it being against the Constitution, the
law or public policy, in general. [24]
2. If and when the negotiators finally decide on the terms of the treaty, the same is opened for
signature. This step is primarily intended as a means of authenticating the instrument and for the
purpose of symbolizing the good faith of the parties; but, significantly, it does not indicate the
final consent of the state in cases where ratification of the treaty is required. The document is
ordinarily signed in accordance with the alternat, that is, each of the several negotiators is
allowed to sign first on the copy which he will bring home to his own state.
3. Ratification, which is the next step, is the formal act by which a state confirms and accepts
the provisions of a treaty concluded by its representatives. The purpose of ratification is to enable
the contracting states to examine the treaty more closely and to give them an opportunity to
refuse to be bound by it should they find it inimical to their interests. It is for this reason that
most treaties are made subject to the scrutiny and consent of a department of the government



other than that which negotiated them. Ratification is generally held to be an executive act,
undertaken by the head of the state or of the government, as the case may be, through which the
formal acceptance of the treaty is proclaimed.[25] A State may provide in its domestic legislation
the process of ratification of a treaty. The consent of the State to be bound by a treaty is
expressed by ratification when: (a) the treaty provides for such ratification, (b) it is otherwise
established that the negotiating States agreed that ratification should be required, (c) the
representative of the State has signed the treaty subject to ratification, or (d) the intention of the
State to sign the treaty subject to ratification appears from the full powers of its representative, or
was expressed during the negotiation.[26]
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.[27]
4. The next step is the exchange of the instruments of ratification, which usually also signifies
the effectivity of the treaty unless a different date has been agreed upon by the parties. Where
ratification is dispensed with and no effectivity clause is embodied in the treaty, the instrument is
deemed effective upon its signature.[28] [emphasis supplied]
5. In our jurisdiction, for the treaty to be valid and effective, it must be concurred in by the
Senate. The process of treaty concurrence by the Senate follows the procedure under the 1987
Constitution on the passage of bills. Such rules are supplemental by the Rules of the Senate. The
step-by-step process of treaty concurrence is discussed below.
Initially, the President, through a letter to the Senate, transmits to the Senate the Instrument of
Ratification and the text of the ratified treaty for concurrence pursuant to Sec. 21, Art. VII of the
Constitution. The President transmits the same by acting through the Executive Secretary, who
himself makes a letter of endorsement to the Senate. [29]
The Senate receives the agreement through its Legislative Bills and Index Services (Bills and
Index). The Bills and Index reproduces the text of the agreement and includes it in the Order of
Business. It also indexes and publishes an abstract of the agreement.











At the beginning of each Senate Session, the Secretary of the Senate reports all bills, proposed
Senate resolutions, and correspondences from the other branches of the government, and such
other matters included in the Order of Business. Like an ordinary bill, the international
agreement undergoes three readings.
In the first reading, only the title and number is read. The title usually goes Concurrence in the
Ratification of (the treaty or international agreement) with the corresponding Proposed Senate
Resolution Number. [30]
Afterwards, the treaty is referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. If the treaty concerns
other Committees, it is also referred to such other Committees for their joint consideration and
recommendation. As an illustration, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was also referred to
the Committee on National Defense. If the treaty concerns almost all or all the Senate
Committees, it is referred to what is called the Committee of the Whole. For instance, the World
Trade Organization (WTO) was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The role of the
Committee is to study and analyze the agreement. It makes consultations to studies and position
papers. It conducts public hearings and considers public testimonies. The final output and
recommendations are documented in the committee report. The committee report is filed with the
Bills and Index, which then includes it in the Calendar of Business for second reading. [31]
At the start of the second reading, the Senator-Sponsor/s of the treaty endorses the committee
report to the Chamber through a sponsorship speech. During the second reading, the treaty would
be opened to general debate and to amendments. At the close of the debate, the members of the
Senate would vote.
If approved by the Senate, the bill would pass to third reading. The Committee on Foreign
Relations will document any action taken in the form of a Proposed Resolution. The Proposed
Resolution shall be engrossed and printed by the Bills and Index, and distributed to each Senator
three (3) days before third reading. [32]
After three days from the distribution of the resolution with the treaty attached thereto, the
Proposed Resolution shall be submitted for nominal voting. The treaty shall be deemed approved
if 2/3 of the Senators voted for its approval. A Senate Resolution concurring in the ratification of
the treaty is then adopted. The adopted Senate Resolution is brought to the Secretary of the
Senate, who thereafter transmits a copy thereof to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
c. Opportunities/venues for private sector participation

Although the Chief Executive is the sole authority in treaty-making, it is nonetheless the policy
of the State that the people and their organizations have the right to participate in decision-







making processes.[33] Organizations refer to trade unions, peasant organizations, urban poor,
cooperatives, human rights groups, religious groups, and also associations of landowners and
businessmen. The role of the State, by enacting a law, would be mere facilitation of the
consultation mechanisms, and not their creation, for consultation mechanisms were already
operating without the States action by law. Also, people refers to all the people, including
minors.[34]
Also, the people shall have the right to access to all transactions of the State that concern public
interest, subject to standards prescribed by law.[35] During the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission, Commissioner Blas Ople, the sponsor of Sec. 28 Art. II, said that
transactions include not just the perfected contract but also the steps and negotiations taken
that led to a contract. Commissioners Ople and Napoleon Rama further explained that the
difference between the provision under State Policies and that under the Bill of Rights is that the
latter affords the right of the people to demand information while the former speaks of the duty
of the government to disclose information even when nobody demands.[36] It necessarily
follows that in all negotiations made by the President as to entering into international
agreements, it is the duty of the government to disclose to the people, even without the latter
making a demand, all its acts, but always limited by conditions prescribed by law.
The Supreme Court laid down in Chavez vs. Presidential Commission on Good Government[37]
some of the restrictions to the State policy of public disclosure and to the exercise of the right to
information: 1) National security matters which include State secrets regarding military and
intelligence information, diplomatic matters, and information on inter-government exchanges
prior to the conclusion of treaties and executive agreements; 2) trade secrets pursuant to the
Intellectual Property Code; 3) banking transactions as provided by the Secrecy of Bank Deposits
Act; 4) criminal matters or classified law enforcement matters; and 5) other confidential matters
including diplomatic correspondence, closed door Cabinet meetings, executive sessions of
Congress, and internal deliberations of the Supreme Court.











The right guaranteed by Section 7 of the Bill of Rights is the right to information on matters of
public concern.[38] A consequence of this right is the right to access official records and
documents. These rights are subject to such limitations as may be provided by law. It follows
that the limitations include regulations on determining what information are matters of public
concern, and the manner of access to such matters of public concern.
In the case of Legaspi vs. Civil Service Commission,[39] the Supreme Court said that public
concern has no exact definition. It encompasses an extensive scope of subjects which the public
may want to know, either because it directly affects their lives or simply because it arouses his
interest. Each case must be examined carefully.
It was also held in the above case that the duty to disclose information of public concern and to
allow access to public records is not discretionary on the part of the concerned government
agency. If denied of the enjoyment of the Constitutional right, the remedy of the citizen is to file
a petition for mandamus to compel the performance of the constitutional obligation.
Indeed, under Sec. 1 of Art. II (Declaration of Principles and State Policies) of the 1987
Constitution, The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the
people and all government authority emanates from them. Republicanism means all government
authority emanates from the people and is exercised by representatives chosen by the people.
Hence, the people are declared supreme.[40]

What is the significant role of the Legislative branch in the treat-making process?

Notwithstanding the sole authority of the President to negotiate and enter into treaties, the 1987
Constitution limits his power by requiring the concurrence of 2/3 of all the members of the
Senate for the validity and effectivity of the treaty entered into by him.[41] The role of the
Senate is confined to simply giving or withholding its consent to the ratification.[42]
The involvement of the Senate in the treaty-making process manifests the adherence of the
Philippine system of government to the principle of checks and balances. This indispensable











participation of the legislative branch by way of concurrence provides the check to the
ratification of the treaty by the executive branch.

What is the effect of Senate Concurrence to a treaty?

A treaty becomes valid and effective if concurred in by two-thirds of all the members of the
Senate.[43] This means it forms part of Philippine law by virtue of transformation. By an act of
the legislature, treaty rules may be transformed into Philippine law, to be applied or enforced as
part of Philippine law. [44]
The treaty becomes part of the law of the land and it becomes obligatory and incumbent on our
part, under the principles of international law, to be bound by the terms of the agreement. In
Bayan vs. Zamora[45], the Supreme Court said that with the ratification of the VFA, which is
equivalent to final acceptance, and with the exchange of notes between the Philippines and the
United States of America, it now becomes obligatory and incumbent on our part, under the
principles of international law, to be bound by the terms of the agreement. Thus, no less than
Section 2, Article II of the Constitution,[46] declares that the Philippines adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the policy of
peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations.
As a member of the family of nations, the Philippines agrees to be bound by generally accepted
rules for the conduct of its international relations. While the international obligation devolves
upon the state and not upon any particular branch, institution, or individual member of its
government, the Philippines is nonetheless responsible for violations committed by any branch
or subdivision of its government or any official thereof. As an integral part of the community of
nations, we are responsible to assure that our government, Constitution and laws will carry out
our international obligation.[47] Hence, we cannot readily plead the Constitution as a convenient
excuse for non-compliance with our obligations, duties and responsibilities under international
law.











Beyond this, Article 13 of the Declaration of Rights and Duties of States adopted by the
International Law Commission in 1949 provides: Every State has the duty to carry out in good
faith its obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, and it may not
invoke provisions in its constitution or its laws as an excuse for failure to perform this duty.[48]
Equally important is Article 26 of the convention which provides that Every treaty in force is
binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. This is known as
the principle of pacta sunt servanda which preserves the sanctity of treaties and have been one of
the most fundamental principles of positive international law, supported by the jurisprudence of
international tribunals.[49]
What is the effect if the Senate does not concur to a treaty?
As provided for by the constitution, a treaty not concurred in by the Senate will not be valid and
effective.[50]
Under the Philippine Legal System, how does a treaty stand in relation to the Philippine
Constitution?

The Constitution is the basis for ascertaining the legality or validity of the treaty. By virtue of
Article VIII, Section 5(2)(a) of the Constitution, the Supreme Court may determine the
constitutionality of a treaty or declare it as violative of a statute.[51]

How does a treaty stand in relation to a statute?
Being part of the law of the land and therefore an internal law, a treaty is not superior to an
enactment of the Congress of the Philippines, rather it would be in the same class as the
latter.[52]

[1] Section 2(b)Executive Order No. 459, Providing for the Guidelines in the Negotiation of












International Agreements and its Ratification
[2] Article 2 (1) (a), Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
[3] Merlin M. Magallona, Primer on the Law of Treaties, p. 115
[4] Ibid. Sec.2(c)
[5] Sayre, The Constitutionality of Trade Agreements Acts 39 COLUMBIA L.R. 651, 755,
quoted in 3 SCRA 357
[6] Hackworth, Digest of International Law, Vol. 5, p. 395, cited in USAFE Veterans
Association Inc. vs. Treasurer of the Philippines, 105 Phil. 1030, 1037 [1959].
[7] Richard J. Erickson, The Making of Executive Agreements by the United States Department
of Defense: An agenda for Progress, 13 Boston U. Intl. L.J. 58 [1995], citing Restatement
[third] of Foreign Relations Law pt. III, introductory note [1987] and Paul Reuter, Introduction
to the Law of Treaties 22 [Jose Mico & Peter Haggemacher trans., 1989] cited in Consolidated
Memorandum, p. 32.
[8] Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., Constitutional Structure and Powers of Government, Second Edition
1997
[9] Commissioner of Customs v. Eastern Sea Trading, 3 SCRA 351

















[10] The citation of said case is 3 SCRA 351.
[11] Bernas, Id.
[12] Press Release No. 314-03; 26 June 2003, Department of Foreign Affairs
[13] Section 21, Article VII, 1987 Philippine Constitution
[14] Memorandum Circular No. 89 of the Office of the President (1988).
[15] Ramos, Infante, Pasco, Cabugao, Memorandum on Negotiation and Treaty Ratification
Process
[16] Merlin M. Magallona, A Primer in International Law in Relation to Philippine Law, p.50
[17] Bayan vs. Zamora, G.R. No. 138570. October 10, 2000
[18] Cortes, The Philippine Presidency a study of Executive Power, 2nd Ed., p. 195.




















[19] Cruz, Phil. Political Law, 1995 Ed., p. 223.
[20] Pimentel, Jr. vs. Office of the Executive Secretary, 462 SCRA 622 (2005), p. 632, citing
Cortes, The Philippine Presidency: A Study of Executive Power (1966), p. 187.
[21] Section 21, Article VII, 1087 Constitution
[22] Id., Art. 8.
[23] Pimentel vs. Office of the Executive Secretary, G.R. No. 158088, July 6, 2005
[24] Ramos, Infante, Pasco, Cabugao, Interview, Atty. Minerva Tan, Office of the Executive
Secretary, cited in the Memorandum on Negotiation and Treaty Ratification Process
[25] Gerhard von Glahn, Law Among Nations, An Introduction to Public International Law, 4th
Ed., p. 486.
[26] Article 14 of the Vienna Convention, cited in Coquia and Defensor-Santiago, Intenational
Law, 1998 Ed., pp. 506-507.
[27] Cruz, Isagani, International Law, 1985 Ed., p. 175.



















[28] Cruz, International Law (1998 Ed.), pp. 172-174.
[29] The Senate Archives have a compilation of some of the documents and letters of
government officials and members of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations (including
those of then President Fidel Ramos, Executive Secretary Teofisto Guingona, and Foreign
Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo) regarding the World Trade Organization. This compilation is
indexed as CP-Senate Res. No. 97 B9-F97 in the Archives but it can be asked as documents
pertaining to the WTO deliberations.
[30] Rules of the Senate, Rule 36
[31] Interview with Eduardo Sibuma, supra.
[32] [32] Sec. 26(2), Art. VI of the 1987 Constitution. Under the same provision, the
requirements of three readings on separate days and the distribution of the final copies of the bill
before its passage may be dispensed with by a certificate of urgency issued by the President for
the purpose of meeting a public calamity or emergency.

[33] Sec. 16, Art. XIII of the 1987 Constitution, The right of the people and their organizations
to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and effective decision-
making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate
consultation mechanisms.
[34] Bernas, The Intent of the 1986 Constitution Writers (1995), pp. 998-1004, citing II Record
of the Constitutional Commission, p. 608 and III Record of the Constitutional Commission pp.















146-147, 162-163.
[35] Sec. 28, Art. II of the 1987 Constitution, Subject to reasonable conditions prescribed by
law, the State adopts and implements a policy of full public disclosure of all its transactions
involving public interest.
[36] Bernas, id, pp. 155-156, citing IV Record of the Constitutional Commission, pp. 24-26, 29.
[37] 299 SCRA 744, pp. 763-765.
[38] Sec. 7, Art. III of the 1987 Constitution , The right of the people to information on matters
of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers
pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used
as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may
be provided by law.
[39] 150 SCRA 530 (1987).
[40] Cruz, Philippine Political Law (2002 Ed.), pp.51-52.
[41] Sec. 21, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution, 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.
[42] Isagani Cruz, International Law, 2000, p.174

















[43] Section 21, Article VII, 1987 Constitution.
[44] Merlin M. Magallona, A Primer in International Law in Relation to Philippine Law, p. 49
[45] G.R. No. 138570. October 10, 2000
[46] Sec. 2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the
generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the land and adheres to the
policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.
[47] Louis Henkin, Richard C. Pugh, Oscar Schachter, Hans Smit, International Law, Cases and
Materials, 2nd Ed American Casebook Series, p. 136.
[48] Gerhard von Glah, supra, p. 487.
[49] Harris, p. 634 cited in Coquia, International Law, supra, p. 512.
[50] Sec. 21, Art. VII of the 1987 Constitution

















[51] Merlin M. Magallona, A Primer in International Law in Relation to Philippine Law, p.58
[52] Abbas v. Commission on Elections (179 SCRA 287)