Senator Ronald Dela Rosa expressed frustration over the decision of his twelve colleagues to push a resolution asking the Supreme Court about the role of the Senate in the termination of treaties like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
In a statement, Dela Rosa declared that the seven senators who decided to abstain in the voting, including him, are now the part of the minority as the other members of the supposed senate majority also voted in favor of the resolution.
“We are the new minority,” Dela Rosa told the press.
“Sinasabi nga na may kaniya-kaniya tayong isip pero kung doon tayo sa political side of it, majority against minority, dapat majority palagi ang mananalo but we were not able to get the majority vote,” he added.
However, he denied that he’s not open to accepting the ideas of his colleagues.
“Ang gusto daw nila para maging statesman ang dating mo, iba ang paningin mo. Sorry, I am not a statesman. Ordinaryong senador lang ako, ‘di ako statesman. ‘Yun lang ang makaya ko ngayon. ‘Di ako statesman pa,” he said.
He also explained why asking the Supreme Court is already unnecessary, citing that the constitution already defined the limit of the Senate when it comes to termination of treaties.
“I believe there is no need for this body to ask the Supreme Court. The constitution is clearly written. I am not a lawyer but ang alam ko there is a legal maxim that what the law does not include, it excludes,” Dela Rosa stated.
“Very clear ang sinabi ng constitution kung hanggang saan lang tayo,” he added.
The 1987 constitution says nothing if there’s a need for a Senate vote when the Philippines decided to leave an agreement.
Even Senator Francis Tolentino, who also abstained in voting told his colleagues that they should respect the power of President Rodrigo Duterte who led the termination of VFA.
“Wala akong nakitang probisyon dito na kasama ang Senado sa pag-abrogate ng isang tratado. Igalang po natin ang kapangyarihan ng Pangulo sa pagpasok sa tratado. Dahil ang Saligang Batas ay walang sinasaad tungkol sa abrogation at shared power, sa aking palagay ay dapat hindi tayo makialam,” Tolentino said.
Senators Vicente Sotto III, Franklin Drilon Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Richard Gordon, Ralph Recto, and Lito Lapid voted in favor of the resolution.
Those who abstained are Senators Imee Marcos, Christopher “Bong” Go, Francis Tolentino, Ronald Dela Rosa, Cynthia Villar, Koko Pimentel, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr.