GMANews | 08/13/2008
Group welcomes move to suspend Jpepa deliberations
MANILA, Philippines — A movement against “unfair" economic treaties on Wednesday welcomed Sen. Mar Roxas III’s move to suspend deliberations on the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa).
Roxas has suspended the discussions (until further notice) because Tokyo continues to delay the signing of the side agreement demanded by the Senate.
The No Deal! Movement Against Unequal Economic Agreements welcomed Roxas’ move, saying the suspension, at the very least, could give each senator extra time to think things over before making a decision on the proposed trade pact with Japan.
Jpepa is not yet a done deal contrary to claims of Sen. Miriam Santiago, said Arnold Padilla, No Deal spokesman.
We will make use of this time to convince senators to abandon the unfair Jpepa, Padilla added.
Padilla’s group said senators must examine whether Japan is negotiating with the Philippines in good faith, or whether it has hoodwinked Santiago and the rest of the Senate into believing that a so-called side agreement is in the works to cure grave constitutional challenges to the treaty.
Padilla claimed that his group’s sources in the Senate say Japan has not made any firm and concrete commitment in the form of a side agreement assuring it will abide by the Philippine constitution.
He added that Japan’s to sign the side agreement that supposedly could "cure" the Jpepa’s defects is an omen of what could befall the country if the Senate concurs with the treaty.
On Wednesday, August 13, organizations under No Deal! would l hold an anti-Jpepa protest action in front of the Japanese embassy in Manila.