Romualdez vows to scrutinize EDCA, gov’t plans vs El Niño

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Published : Tuesday, May 06, 2014 00:00

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THE House Independent Minority Bloc led by Leyte (1st District) Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez has vowed to scrutinize several issues and measures that may have strong impacts on the lives of  Filipinos.

First on the agenda of the group, Romualdez said,  is the newly-signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States.

Romualdez said they will be requesting officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) to explain to the House members the details as well as the limitations of the said agreement which was signed a few hours before the US President Barack Obama visited the Philippines last week.

“A lot of questions have been raised, and continue to be raised, by various sectors on the EDCA like the number of US troops to be assigned and the constitutionality of the agreement,” Romualdez said.

“Only a thorough discussion on the EDCA can answer  all these questions and stop whatever disinformation schemes are being implemented by any self-interest groups,” he added.

Romualdez added that the Congress should find out exactly how the government is prepared for the looming El Niño phenomenon, that may take effect starting next month until 2015, based on  reports.

“The supposed readiness has been nothing so far but verbal assurances. No specific details whatsoever. Before super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ struck, the government claimed they are ready,” Romualdez said.” “But that supposed readiness resulted in more than 6,000 deaths and billions of properties were destroyed.”

The bloc will also review and inquire about the worsening power situation in Mindanao to determine what could be the solution of the government to this problem.

Romualdez  assured  that the bloc will remain vigilant once the House starts deliberations on the proposed changes to the Constitution. He reiterated that the Bloc will never support amendments to the Charter’s political provisions.

On the Bangsamoro issue, Romualdez said,  the bloc will start today a series of comprehensive briefings among its members on the recently signed Bangsamoro Framework Agreement.

He said the briefings will help prepare the bloc for the deliberations on the proposed Bangsamoro Law once the measure reaches the House. Among the resource persons invited for today are UP Islamic Institute Dean Julkipli Wadi and UP Professor Emeritus and former National Treasurer Leonor Briones.

“We want to balance our commitments to our Bangsamoro brothers with the constitution and national interest, this is why we thought of organizing this important activity in order for us to realize the importance of the peace pact” Romualdez said.

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