MANILA, May 17, 2014 — The ‘Tapatan sa Aristocrat’ forum will discuss the hot button topic the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and other related issues tomorrow, May 19.
The main issues that beg for answers include the agreement’s impact on national security amidst the creeping encroachments on the Philippines’ 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone by the world’s No. 2 economic power, China.
Does the agreement require the Philippine Senate’s ratification? Some legal eagles say it does not because it is not a treaty. However, senators from previous congresses believe otherwise.
A former legislator was heard saying the agreement is simply a piece of paper because the provisions therein have already been extended to American troops.
Confirmed guests include Senator Grace L. Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Information and Mass Media, former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the 8th and 9th Congresses and RAM co-founder Commodore Rex Robles.
The Department of National Defense is expected to send their representative, along with the United States Embassy in Manila and the Center for People Empowerment and Governance (DenPEG).
The agreement was signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg a few hours before American President Barack Obama arrived in Manila for his first-ever state visit last April 28,2014.
‘Tapatan sa Aristocrat’ is a joint undertaking of The Aristocrat and Areopagus Social Media for Asia, Inc. The weekly public affairs program begins at 9:00 a.m. at The Aristocrat at Roxas Blvd. corner San Andres, Malate, Manila. (Melo Acuña)