OPPOSITION Senator Leila M. de Lima on Wednesday filed a bill requiring Senate concurrence in the abrogation, termination, or repeal of treaties and international agreements. This after the President Rodrigo R. Duterte unilaterally withdrew the country from the Rome Statute and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The lawmaker proposed in Senate Bill 2436 that the concurrence of at least two-thirds of the upper house be required before any act of withdrawal from, or abrogation of, a treaty or an international agreement becomes effective.

“This bill aims to protect the interests of our people by making sure that the constitutional checks that are in place during our entry into treaties remain so during our withdrawal from the same,” Ms. De Lima said in a statement on Thursday.

She likened treaties to laws which need both executive and legislative action before being repealed, otherwise it would lead to an “absurd situation.”

“By requiring the concurrence of the legislature in the treaties entered into by the President, the Constitution ensures a healthy system of checks and balances necessary in the nation’s pursuit of political maturity and growth,” she added.

Ms. De Lima cited Former Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio who earlier said that if “the Senate does not assert its prerogative to concur, it will lose its prerogative to concur.”

In 2018, petitions by opposition senators were filed after the president’s withdrawal from the treaties, she noted. Three years later, the high court said that a law may be passed to impose Senate concurrence as a condition prior to withdrawal from treaties. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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