You are on page 1of 14

SAGUISAG v.

OCHOA
PAGES 1-38
Petition assails the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation
Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the US, alleging:
Respondents committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction when they entered into the agreement
EDCA violates multiple constitutional provisions
Respondents contend:
Petitioners lack standing
Invoke the 1987 Constitution, treaties, and judicial precedents
I.

BROAD CONSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT ON THE POWERS OF THE PRESIDENT:


Defense, Foreign Relations, and EDCA
A. Prime duty of the State and the consolidation of executive power
in the President
Constitution vested vast executive powers in the
President
With its prime duty to serve and protect the people,
the government may call upon people to defend the State, and
citizens may be required, under conditions provided by law, to
render military or civil service
B. The duty to protect the territory and the citizens, the power to
call upon the people to defend the State, and the President as
Commander-in-Chief
Power is limited by the Constitution: President may call out the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) to prevent/suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion, but not
suspend privilege of writ of habeas corpus of place Philippines under martial law for
more than 60 days
C. The power and duty to conduct foreign relations
President carries the mandate of being the sole organ in conduct of foreign relation,
but is qualified by the Constitution
Sec. 2, Art. II on conduct of war; Sec. 20-21, Art VII on foreign loans; Sec. 4(2) & 5(2)
(a) of Art VIII on judicial review of executive acts; Sec. 4 & 25 of Art. XVIII on treaties
and international agreements and presence of foreign military troops, bases or
facilities
D. The relationship between the 2 major presidential functions and
the role of the Senate
Power to defend State and acts as its representative in international sphere does
not crystallize into absolute discretion to craft whatever instrument the Chief
Executive desires
Senate has role in ensuring treaties or international agreements obtain approval of
of its members
Petitioners claim that this shared role of the President and Senate is bypassed by
EDCA

II.
HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS OF EDCA
A. U.S. takeover of Spanish colonization and its military bases, and the transition to
Philippine independence

US took over and expanded the former Spanish Naval Base in Subic Bay, Zambales
and put up a cavalry post called Fort Stotsenberg in Pampanga (now the Clark Air
Base)
When talks of independence of the Philippines gained ground, the US manifested
desire to maintain military bases and armed forces in the country
Philippine Legislature rejected the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act of 1933, where the
proposed constitution of an independent Philippines must recognize the right of the
US to maintain armed forces and military bases
Tydings-McDuffie Act (Philippine Independence Act of 1934)
Provided for the surrender to the Commonwealth Government of all military
reservations of the US government in the Philippines, except naval reservations
and refueling stations and authorized US President to enter into negotiations for
adjustment and settlement of all questions relating to such within 2 years after
Philippine independence
US President would proclaim American withdrawal and surrender sovereignty over
islands 10 years after inauguration of new Philippine government
Eventually led to promulgation of 1935 Constitution
Original plan to surrender military bases changed due to 2nd World War
Entered into Treaty of General Relations, where US relinquished control and
sovereignty except the areas covered by the US military base
B. Former legal regime on the presence of U.S. armed forces in the territory of an
independent Philippines (1946-1991)
Treaty of General Relations led to creation of post-colonial regime hinging on
continued US military presence until 1991
The Military Bases Agreement of 1947, the Military Assistance Agreement of 1947,
and the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951
C. Current legal regime on the presence of U.S. armed forces in the country
Military arrangements were revived in 1991 through the first Visiting Forces
Agreement (VFA), which laid down the regulatory mechanism for the treatment of
US military and civilian personnel visiting the country
Jan. 2002 - US military and civilian personnel arrived in Mindanao to take part in
joint military exercises with Filipino counterparts, or Balikatan
D. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement
EDCA authorizes US military forces to have access to and conduct activities within
certain Agreed Locations in the country
Not transmitted to the Senate: the President thought it was no longer necessary
June 2014 - Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and US embassy exchanged
diplomatic notes confirming completion of all necessary requirements for the
agreement to enter into force
Signed by Secretary of National Defense and US Ambassador on April 28, 2014
Ratified by PNoy on June 6, 2014
Nov. 10, 2015 - Senators adopted Senate Resolution No. 105, expressing strong
sense of senators that for EDCA to become valid and effective, it must first be
transmitted to the Senate for deliberation and concurrence
III. ISSUES
Petitioners seek declaration that the Executive Department committed grave abuse
of discretion in entering into EDCA in the form of an executive agreement. The
issues discussed are:

1. Whether the essential requisites for judicial review have been satisfied
2. Whether the President may enter into an executive agreement on foreign military
bases, troops, or facilities
3. Whether the provisions under EDCA are consistent with the Constitution, as well as
with existing laws and treaties
IV. DISCUSSION
A. Whether the essential requisites for judicial review have been satisfied
1. Petitioners have shown presence of an actual case or controversy
Senate, through SR 105, expressed its belief that EDCA infringes upon its
constitutional role
Sec. 25, Art. XVIII of the Constitution provides that the presence of foreign military
forces in the country shall only be allowed by virtue of a treaty concurred in by the
Senate
Case is ripe for adjudication, as the Executive Department already sent an official
confirmation to the US Embassy that all requirements have been complied with
Exchange of diplomatic notes that led to the entry into force of an executive
agreement was sufficient to satisfy the actual case requirement
2. While petitioners Saguisag et.al., do not have legal standing as citizens, taxpayers
or legislators, they raise issues involving matters of transcendental importance
B. Whether the President may enter into an executive agreement on foreign military
bases, troops, or facilities
C. Whether the provisions under EDCA are consistent with the Constitution, as well as
with existing laws and treaties
B&C are discussed together:
1. The role of the President as the executor of the law includes the duty to
defend the State, for which purpose he may use that power in the conduct
of foreign relations
Most important self-executory constitutional power of the President is the
Presidents constitutional duty and mandate to ensure that the laws be faithfully
executed
The President can execute the law without any delegation of power from the
legislature
Manner of the Presidents execution of the law, even if not expressly granted by the
law, is justified by necessity and limited only by law, since the President must take
necessary and proper steps to carry into execution the law
It is the Presidents prerogative to do whatever is legal and necessary for Philippine
defense interests
It would be repugnant to the faithful-execution clause of the Constitution to do
nothing when the call of the moment requires increasing the militarys defensive
capabilities, including forging alliances with states that hold a common interest with
the Philippines
2. The plain meaning of the Constitution prohibits the entry of foreign
military bases, troops or facilities, except by way of a treaty concurred in
by the Senate - a clear limitation on the Presidents dual role as defender
of the State and as sole authority in foreign relations
Despite Presidents roles as defender of the State and sole authority in foreign
relations, the 1987 Constitution expressly limits his ability in instances when it
involves the entry of foreign military bases, troops, or facilities

Sec. 21, Art. VII: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective
unless concurred in by at least of all the Members of the Senate.
Specific limitation is given by Sec. 25, Art. XVIII Transitory Provisions (in full text
below)
3. The President may enter into an executive agreement on foreign military
bases, troops, or facilities, if (a) it is not the instrument that allows the
presence of foreign military bases, troops, or facilities; or (b) it merely
aims to implement an existing law or treaty
Sec. 25, Art. XVIII: 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.
Petitioners argue that EDCA must be in the form of a treaty concurred in by the
Senate, maintaining that the Executive Department is not given the choice to
conclude agreements like EDCA in the form of an executive agreement
Senate cites Sec. 21, Art. VII and Sec. 25, Art. XVIII to support same position and
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago adds that the MDT (which the Executive claims to be
partly implemented through EDCA) is obsolete
Court cannot agree:
The concept of executive agreement is well-entrenched in the Courts
pronouncements on the power of the President. When the Court validated the
concept of executive agreement, it did so with full knowledge of the Senates role
in concurring in treaties.
MDT has not been rendered obsolescent, considering that as late as 2009, the Court
recognized its validity
A plain textual reading of Sec. 25, Art. XVIII leads to the conclusion that the
constitutional restriction refers solely to the initial entry of the foreign military
bases, troops, or facilities. Once entry is authorized, the subsequent acts are
therefore subject only to the limitations provided by the rest of the Constitution and
Philippine law, and not to the Sec. 25 requirement of validity through a treaty.
The VFA already allowed entry of troops in the Philippines.
The Court in Lim v. Executive Secretary also indicated that the Constitution
continues to govern the conduct of foreign military troops in the Philippines,
implying the legality of their initial entry into the country
OSG emphasized that EDCA can be in the form of an executive agreement, as it
merely involved adjustments in detail in the implementation of the MDT and VFA.
Existing treaties between the PH and US have already been concurred in by the
Senate and have thereby met the requirements of Sec. 25. As such, the EDCA need
not be transmitted to the Senate.
PAGES 39-75
4. The President may generally enter into executive agreements
subject to limitations defined by the Constitution and may be in
furtherance of a treaty already concurred in by the Senate.

Section 5(2)(a), Article VIII of the Constitution,


2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as
the law or the Rules of Court may provide, final judgments and orders of
lower courts in:
(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty,
international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree,
proclamation, order, instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.
(Emphases supplied)

One of the distinguishing features of executive agreements is that their


validity and effectivity are not affected by a lack of Senate
concurrence.
The framers specifically deliberated on whether the general term
"international agreement" included executive agreements, and whether it
was necessary to include an express proviso that would exclude executive
agreements from the requirement of Senate concurrence.
Decided that the term "international agreements" as contemplated in
Section 21, Article VII, does not include executive agreements, and that
a proviso is no longer needed.
There remain two very important features that distinguish treaties
from executive agreements and translate them into terms of art in
the domestic setting
A. Executive agreements must remain traceable to an express
or implied authorization under the Constitution, statutes, or
treaties.
Executive agreements cannot create new international obligations that
are not expressly allowed or reasonably implied in the law they purport
to implement.
B. Treaties are, by their very nature, considered superior to
executive agreements.
Treaties are products of the acts of the Executive and the
Senate unlike executive agreements, which are solely
executive actions.
Both types of international agreement are nevertheless
subject to the supremacy of the Constitution
There are constitutional provisions that restrict or limit the
President's prerogative in concluding international agreements, such
as those that involve the following:
a. The policy of freedom from nuclear weapons within Philippine
territory
b. The fixing of tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and
wharfage dues, and other duties or imposts, which must be pursuant to
the authority granted by Congress

c. The grant of any tax exemption, which must be pursuant to a law


concurred in by a majority of all the Members of Congress
d. The contracting or guaranteeing, on behalf of the Philippines, of
foreign loans that must be previously concurred in by the Monetary
Board
e. The authorization of the presence of foreign military bases, troops,
or facilities in the country must be in the form of a treaty duly
concurred in by the Senate.
f. For agreements that do not fall under paragraph 5, the concurrence
of the Senate is required, should the form of the government chosen be
a treaty.
5. The President had the choice to enter into EDCA by way of an
executive agreement or a treaty.
No court can tell the President to desist from choosing an executive
agreement over a treaty to embody an international agreement, unless the
case falls squarely within Article VIII, Section 25.
Section 9 of Executive Order No. 459, or the Guidelines in the Negotiation of
International Agreements and its Ratification, thus, correctly reflected the
inherent powers of the President when it stated that the DFA "shall determine
whether an agreement is an executive agreement or a treaty."
The task of the Court is to determine whether the international agreement is
consistent with the applicable limitations.
6. Executive agreements may cover the matter of foreign military
forces if it merely involves detail adjustments.

Respondents carry the burden of proving that it is a mere implementation of


existing laws and treaties concurred in by the Senate
EDCA must thus be carefully dissected to ascertain if it remains within the
legal parameters of a valid executive agreement.

7. EDCA is consistent with the content, purpose, and framework of the


MDT and the VFA

VFA allowed construction for the benefit of U.S. forces during their temporary
visits.
the VFA clearly allows the same kind of equipment, vehicles, vessels, and
aircraft to be brought into the country. Articles VII and VIII of the VFA
contemplates that U.S. equipment, materials, supplies, and other property
are imported into or acquired in the Philippines by or on behalf of the U.S.
Armed Forces;
Even if EDCA was borne of military necessity, it cannot be said to have
strayed from the intent of the VFA since EDCA's combat-related components
are allowed under the treaty.
Terms and details used by an implementing agreement need not be found in
the mother treaty. They must be sourced from the authority derived from the

treaty, but are not necessarily expressed word-for-word in the mother treaty.
Both the VFA and EDCA ensure Philippine jurisdiction in all instances
contemplated by both agreements,

Taking off from these concerns, the provisions of EDCA must be compared with
those of the MDT and the VFA, which are the two treaties from which EDCA allegedly
draws its validity.
"Authorized presence" under the VFA versus "authorized activities" under
EDCA: (1) U.S. personnel and (2) U.S. contractors
The OSG argues that EDCA merely details existing policies under the MDT and the
VFA.
It explains that EDCA articulates the principle of defensive preparation
embodied in Article II of the MDT; and
seeks to enhance the defensive, strategic, and technological capabilities of
both parties pursuant to the objective of the treaty to strengthen those
capabilities to prevent or resist a possible armed attack.
Petitioners contest the assertion that the provisions of EDCA merely implement the
MDT.
the treaty does not specifically authorize the entry of U.S. troops in the
country in order to maintain and develop the individual and collective
capacities of both the Philippines and the U.S. to resist an armed attack.
the treaty was concluded at a time when there was as yet no specific
constitutional prohibition on the presence of foreign military forces in the
country.
a. Admission of U.S. military and civilian personnel into Philippine territory is already
allowed under the VFA

Article II of EDCA must then be read with Article III of the VFA, which provides
for the entry accommodations to be accorded to U.S. military and civilian
personnel:
1. The Government of the Philippines shall facilitate the admission of
United States personnel and their departure from the Philippines in
connection with activities covered by this agreement.
2. United States military personnel shall be exempt from passport and
visa regulations upon entering and departing the Philippines.
3. The following documents only, which shall be required in respect of United
States military personnel who enter the Philippines; xx xx.
4. United States civilian personnel shall be exempt from visa
requirements but shall present, upon demand, valid passports upon
entry and departure of the Philippines. (Emphases Supplied)
By virtue of Articles I and III of the VFA, the Philippines already allows U.S.
military and civilian personnel to be "temporarily in the Philippines," so long
as their presence is "in connection with activities approved by the Philippine
Government."
What EDCA has effectively done, in fact, is merely provide the mechanism to

identify the locations in which U.S. personnel may perform allowed activities
pursuant to the VFA. As the implementing agreement, it regulates and limits
the presence of U.S. personnel in the country.
b. EDCA does not provide the legal basis for admission of U.S. contractors into
Philippine territory; their entry must be sourced from extraneous Philippine statutes
and regulations for the admission of alien employees or business persons.

Nowhere in EDCA are U.S. contractors guaranteed immediate admission into


the Philippines.
It is neither mandatory nor obligatory on the part of the Philippines to admit
U.S. contractors into the country
U.S. contractors are subject to Philippine immigration laws. They must comply
with our visa and passport regulations and prove that they are not subject to
exclusion under any provision of Philippine immigration laws.

c. Authorized activities of U.S. military and civilian personnel within Philippine


territory are in furtherance of the MDT and the VFA
MUTUAL DEFENSE TREATY
Article II: the Parties separately and jointly by self-help and mutual aid
will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity
to resist armed attack
Article III: The Parties, through their Foreign Ministers or their
deputies, will consult together from time to time regarding the
implementation of this Treaty..
VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT
Preamble: Reaffirming their obligations under the Mutual Defense
Treaty of August 30, 1951;...Considering that cooperation between the
United States and the Republic of the Philippines promotes their
common security interests;
Article I Definitions: "United States personnel" means United States
military and civilian personnel temporarily in the Philippines in connection
with activities approved by the Philippine Government.
Article II - Respect for Law: It is the duty of United States personnel
to respect the laws of the Republic of the Philippines and to
abstain from any activity inconsistent with the spirit of this
agreement...
Article VII - Importation and Exportation: United States Government
equipment, materials, supplies, and other property imported into
or acquired in the Philippines by or on behalf of the United States armed
forces in connection with activities to which this agreement
applies, shall be free of all Philippine duties, taxes and other similar
charges.
Article VIII - Movement of Vessels and Aircraft
1. Aircraft operated by or for the United States armed forces may
enter the Philippines upon approval of the Government of the

Philippines in accordance with procedures stipulated in implementing


arrangements.
2. Vessels operated by or for the United States armed forces may
enter the Philippines upon approval of the Government of the
Philippines. The movement of vessels shall be in accordance with
international custom and practice governing such vessels, and
such agreed implementing arrangements as necessary. x x x

MDT contemplates a situation in which both countries shall engage in joint


activities, so that they can maintain and develop their defense capabilities.
The wording itself evidently invites a reasonable construction that the joint
activities shall involve joint military trainings, maneuvers, and exercises.
Article V of the MDT says that these joint activities may be conducted on
Philippine or on U.S. soil.
expressly provides that the term armed attack includes "an armed attack
on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island
territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces,
public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific."

Surely, in maintaining and developing our defense capabilities, an


assessment or training will need to be performed, separately and jointly
by self-help and mutual aid, in the territories of the contracting parties.
the assessment of defense capabilities would entail understanding the
terrain, wind flow patterns, and other environmental factors unique to the
Philippines.

d. Authorized activities performed by US. contractors within Philippine territory who were legitimately permitted to enter the country independent of EDCA - are
subject to relevant Philippine statutes and regulations and must be consistent with
the MDT and the VFA
EDCA requires that all activities within Philippine territory be in accordance
with Philippine law.
This means that certain privileges denied to aliens are likewise denied to
foreign military contractors. Relevantly, providing security and carrying,
owning, and possessing firearms are illegal for foreign civilians.
EDCA does not allow the presence of U.S.-owned or -controlled military
facilities and bases in the Philippines
a. Preliminary point on badges of exclusivity
First, petitioner clarify the word "return" in Article V(2) of EDCA. However, the use of
the word "return" is within the context of a lengthy provision. The provision as a
whole reads as follows:
The United States shall return to the Philippines any Agreed Locations, or
any portion thereof, including non-relocatable structures and assemblies
constructed, modified, or improved by the United States, once no longer
required by United States forces for activities under this Agreement. The
Parties or the Designated Authorities shall consult regarding the terms of

return of any Agreed Locations, including possible compensation for


improvements or construction.
The context of use is "required by United States forces for activities under
this Agreement." Therefore, the return of an Agreed Location would be within
the parameters of an activity that the Mutual Defense Board (MDB) and the
Security Engagement Board (SEB) would authorize.
Second, the term "unimpeded access" must likewise be viewed from a contextual
perspective.
Article IV(4) states that U.S. forces and U.S. contractors shall have
"unimpeded access to Agreed Locations for all matters relating to the
prepositioning and storage of defense equipment, supplies, and materiel,
including delivery, management, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal
of such equipment, supplies and materiel."
Article IV, EDCA states that the Philippines gives the U.S. the authority to
bring in these equipment, supplies, and material through the MDB and SEB
security mechanism.
These items are owned by the U.S. are exclusively for the use of the U.S.
and, after going through the joint consent mechanisms of the MDB and
the SEB, are within the control of the U.S.
More importantly, before these items are considered prepositioned, they
must have gone through the process of prior authorization by the MDB
and the SEB and given proper notification to the AFP.

1.
2.
3.
4.
1.

2.

3.

Therefore, this "unimpeded access" to the Agreed Locations is a necessary adjunct


to the ownership, use, and control of the U.S. over its own equipment, supplies, and
material and must have first been allowed by the joint mechanisms in play between
the two states since the time of the MDT and the VFA.
It is not the use of the Agreed Locations that is exclusive per se; it is mere
access to items in order to exercise the rights of ownership granted by virtue
of the Philippine Civil Code.
Petitioner then claims EDCA is reminiscent of the former Military Bases
Agreement
Allow similar activities
Provide same ownership issues
Grant operational control over an entire area
EDCA is an implementation of the US defense policy
Court disagrees
Operational control is now limited to construction activities over agreed locations
- EDCA limits US rights in every activity by giving the Mutual
Defense board and Security Engagement Board the power to
determine the details
Species of ownership issue
- MBA says that US retains ownership over immovable and
movable property
- EDCA says that ownership of immovable property will be
given to PH, movable property ownership stays with US
- Follows PH property law wherein ownership of a movable
property is retained even though it's in someone else's land
On immovable property

MBA: US retains ownership if it paid for the facility


EDCA: PH gets ownership if US paid for the facility

PAGES 76-116
8. US can't do under EDCA, what it was able to do under MBA

MBA: Us retained all jurisdiction within the American bases


EDCA: US doesnt have jurisdiction in areas where its forces or equipment are
located
MBA: PH can be compelled to negotiate with US whenever US requires base
expansion
EDCA: US access is purely at PH's invitation
MBA: PH had no access to American bases
EDCA: PH has guaranteed access over entire area of agreed locations
MBA: US retained authority over all its establishments as well as the airspace and
waters adjacent to the bases
EDCA: No such US authority, merely allows US to exercise operational control over
construction
MBA: US given authority to use PH land for additional staging areas, bombing, and
gunnery ranges
EDCA: no such right given to US
MBA: US given power to control and prohibit all vehicles within the bases
EDCA: US has no such power
MBA: US given right to improve and deepen harbors, entrances and add roads and
bridges for its bases
EDCA: US merely given temporary access to roads, ports and airfields
MBA: US granted automatic rights to use all PH public utilities as if it were the PH
military
EDCA: US has no right. They have to request first
MBA: US had the right to construct or install any type of facility, weapon
EDCA: merely grants US authority to undertake construction or alterations on PH
owned agreed locations
MBA: allows US to acquire or expropriate private property
EDCA: No such right
MBA: allowed US to bring in any non PH national under its employ
EDCA: Doesnt allow US to bring in anyone unilaterally. EDCA adheres to VFA
MBA: allows US to exercise jurisdiction over any offense committed by any person
within its base
EDCA: doesnt allow this
MBA: allowed US to operate military post exchange facilities (free of customs duties
and taxes)
EDCA doesnt allow this
EDCA is a far cry from the MBA
9. Defining military facilities and bases
Article 18, Section 25 of 1987 restricts foreign military facilities or bases.
EDCA proposes the novel concept of "agreed locations"
- Facilities or areas that are provided by the PH govt through the AFP and that
American forces and contractors as mutually agreed, shall have the right to access
and use pursuant to EDCA

Respondent then claims that the proviso that PH shall retain ownership of the
agreed locations means EDCA is consistent with the VFA's recognition of PH
sovereignty
- So court now has to decide whether or not these agreed locations are foreign
military bases
EDCA Art 3 allows US (With PH permission) to
- Train, refuel aircraft, maintain vehicles, temporary accommodations,
communications, deployment of forces and other activities to be agreed upon
Court must test this against Art 18, Sec 25 of 1987
10. Reasons for Constitutional Requirements and Legal standards for
constitutionally compatible military bases
A18 S25 doesnt define foreign military base
- So court uses constitutional commissioners
discussion
Court deduces 3 legal standards that were articulated by the
Consti Comm members in defining what does A 18 S25 allow
1st standard: Independence from foreign control
EDCA explicitly provides ownership of
agreed locations to PH government
US only has right to access and use
US operational control is subject to
EDCA's bilateral procedures involving consent and cooperation
Nevertheless, A18 S25 doesnt allow
foreign militaries unless approved by a senate treaty
Analysis of Constitutional commission
discussion reveals that the A18 s25 restricts foreign control over
local areas
Independence is self-governance and
self-control
Petitioner attacks EDCA's Article 6(3)
"US authorized to
exercise authority within agreed locations that are
necessary for their operational control or defense"
Court replies:
Their refers to US
forces, and not to agreed locations
US Operational control refers to
authority over personnel and not agreed location
Operational control is not MBA's
"effective command and control"
Petitioners believe that
"operational control" means US has authority over the
both PH and US forces acting in joint operation
Court believes that the
operational control given to the US functions only for their
own subordinates. It doesnt add further authority than
what has been in existing treaties. PH has already agreed
to abide by the security agreements in previous treaties.

Operational control is
narrower than MBA's effective command and control
Limited operational control over
agreed locations is for construction only
Thus except for
construction, PH has authority over the agreed locations
Limited control doesnt violate
constitution
2nd Standard: PH sovereignty and applicable law
US is limited to access and use
PH law remains in force
EDCA: PH retains primary
responsibility over security in agreed locations
MBA: Provost marshal of US had
jurisdiction over security. US Marshall also had to enforce PH
laws
3rd Standard: Must respect National security and territorial integrity
VFA allows US troops entry in a limited
scope. Doesnt allow re-establishment of bases
Petitioners claim that agreed locations
are just US bases under a different name. Also invites attack
from enemies of the US.
The question of inviting enemies of the
US is a matter of wisdom of policy. Not legality
Such attack is also
unlawful under UN laws
UN laws also disallows
targeting of non-combatants
Professor Woodcliffe (International Law
professor of Univ of Leicester) believes that bases are limited to
fulfilling a combative role.
The use of PH land for
training doesnt fulfill a combative role
Advanced telecom
installations are for information gathering. Not a
combative role
EDCA doesnt make the PH are
legitimate target of US enemies. VFA already authorized US
troops anyway
EDCA itself is 1 of many several
defense cooperation agreements such as
US - Bulgaria, US Colombia, US - Poland etc.
All these grant US access
for training.
All these allow host to
retain ownership and jurisdiction over agreed locations
The storage of US equipment isnt new
to the PH. VFA already allows that.

No basis to invalidate EDCA on


matters of national security threats
11. Other issues and concerns
Petitioner theorizes that Mutual defense treaty (being limited to defense in the
pacific area) wont allow US to aid us in an attack outside the pacific
Issue is premature and not the proper petition to rule upon
Petitioner also question possibilities US telecom facilities interfering with local
operators.
Court believes telecom facilities are solely for the US and not for the public in
general. US telecom will not interfere with public.
Petitioners believe EDCA will allow nuclear weapons.
Speculative. EDCA in fact disallows nuclear weapon storage. 1987 Consti disallows
this as well
Petitioners allege EDCA creates tax exemptions, and therefore must pass through
congress
EDCA states that the taxes for utilities are for the account of the PH government.
PH assumes a tax liability because it has an actual interest in the property taxed.
Since the PH government benefits from the structures to be built or improved.
Court believes the Constitution or any of our laws are not violated
RULING:
As an executive agreement it is consistent with existing laws and treaties that it
purports to implement.
PETITION DISMISSED