“No court can tell the president to refrain from choosing an executive agreement over a treaty to embody an international agreement, unless the matter falls directly under Article XVIII, Section 25,” the SC said. The constitutional question relating to the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States concerns whether EDCA is a treaty or a mere executive agreement. According to Ambassador Goldberg, EDCA`s goal is to “promote peace and security in the region.” While outlining new measures for defense cooperation, the agreement also allows the United States to respond more quickly to environmental and humanitarian disasters in the region.  In opposing the Senate`s position that EDCA is a treaty requiring Senate approval, the SC cited the following reasons: The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is an agreement between the United States and the Philippines that aims to strengthen the alliance between the United States and the Philippines. The agreement allows the U.S. to rotate troops in the Philippines for long stays and allows the U.S. to build and operate facilities on Philippine bases for both U.S. and Philippine forces.  The United States is not allowed to build permanent military bases.  Philippine personnel also have access to U.S. ships and aircraft.  “EDCA is a mutually beneficial agreement that will enhance our ability to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and help build the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
We look forward to working closely with our Philippine partners to implement this agreement,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. Evan Medeiros, the United States The Director General of the National Security Council for Asian Affairs was quoted in the Washington Post as saying, “This is the most important defense agreement we have reached with the Philippines in decades.”  If the Supreme Court wants to please the VIP visitor, it can decide that EDCA is a mere executive agreement, like the VFA before it – and avoid Senator Miriam Santiago`s arguments that EDCA is a contract that requires Senate approval. But in its ruling, the Supreme Court said the executive agreement did not agree with the Senate. A full-fledged treaty is only necessary if an agreement involves changes in Philippine national policy and therefore the agreement must be submitted to the Senate for ratification. On the other hand, if an agreement merely implements existing obligations, laws or contractual guidelines, an executive agreement will suffice. – Paolo Miguel Q. Bernardo, contributor a) The presidential power to conclude executive agreements (other than treaties) that do not require the approval of the Senate has been recognized by the Court of Justice and confirmed for a long time; What will be debated on Tuesday in the Supreme Court is whether the Edca is a treaty or an executive agreement. Both bind the Philippine government in its dealings with other governments, but each has different constitutional requirements to become valid. The Philippines signed the Edca only as an executive agreement, but petitioners to the Supreme Court challenged it. The agreement is explicit regarding the nature of the activities that the United States may undertake on Philippine territory, with regard to their access and use of “agreed sites”: the Senate and the Department of Defense have supported the argument by saying that Senate approval is necessary for the VFA to enter into force, however, this is not necessary to put an end to it. You referred to Article 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, which requires the approval of the Senate when signing a treaty, but remains silent when it comes to terminating it.