Sunday, June 3, 2007

Senator Salonga on the JPEPA

Last Thursday, we paid a visit to Senator Salonga at his residence to ask his opinion about the side agreement that was signed by Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Romulo and Japanese Foreign Minister Aso during President Arroyo's visit in Japan. We were concerned that by virtue of the so-called side agreement allies of President Arroyo may be able to railroad the ratification of the treaty during the last session days of the 13th Congress Senate to avoid the opposition senators that will be ushered in by the 14th Congress.

Senator Salonga is inclined to believe that such a side agreement would be insufficient to cure the defects of the treaty with regard to its provisions on the export of Japanese waste to the Philippines. He also said that the internal dynamics of the Senate, notwithstanding the commitment of Senator Miriam Santiago as Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman to see the treaty ratified, preclude a hasty approval of the treaty given the weighty issues leveled against it. The People's Journal has a brief report of our meeting with Senator Salonga.

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