‘JPEPA unconstitutional’

By Bernadette E. Tamayo
Published in the October 9, 2007 issue of the People’s Journal

AT least three legal scholars said some provisions of the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement are unconstitutional. Three oppositors to the treaty — former Supreme Court Justice Florentino Feliciano, former Sen. Roberto Wigberto Tanada, and UP Law Dean Merlin Magallona — said that the agreement violate certain provisions of the Constitution.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chairperson of Senate foreign relations committee, agreed with them. “I for one confess that I will not be able to defend the constitutionality of the JPEPA on the Senate floor,” she said.

“I have already emphasized that the constitutional issue is a threshold question because in a hypothetical case, even if the committee reports the treaty favorably to the plenary session in the Senate; and the Senate, by a minor miracle, approves it, the opposition, who is very emotional and committed to their cause, will certainly bring a case to the Supreme Court,” she said.

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