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SC to include anti-JPEPA petition on en banc agenda next week - Marquez

Philippine News Agency | December 5, 2008

SC to include anti-JPEPA petition on en banc agenda next week - Marquez

MANILA, Dec. 5 - The Supreme Court (SC) will include in its agenda for next week’s en banc session the petition filed Thursday by a multisectoral group seeking the nullification of the implementation of the recently ratified Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

SC spokesperson Atty. Jose Midas Marquez, told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) this morning that “the court will include the petition in its en banc agenda (for next week) and resolve the matter accordingly...”

Marquez declined to comment on the petition pending the discussion of the justices regarding the matter in the SC’s en banc session on Tuesday.

A multisectoral group composed of the Fair Trade Alliance (Fair Trade) and labor group Automotive Industry Workers’ Alliance (AIWA), together with Congressmen Lorenzo Tanada III, Del de Guzman, Alfonso Umali and Carlos Padilla, former Sen. Jovito Salonga and former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona Jr., earlier filed their opposition to JPEPA.

The group, in its 60-page petition, is asking the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and to effectively prevent the implementation of the JPEPA.

The petitioners claimed that JPEPA is unconstitutional and detrimental to the interest of the country and the Filipino citizens as the same failed to provide a balanced and mutually beneficial bilateral trade and economic framework.

The petitioners also asked the High Court to nullify the ratification of the JPEPA in the sense that the Senate gravely abused its discretion when it ratified the JPEPA despite its Constitutional deficiencies.

The group claimed that the JPEPA violates the Constitutional mandate for “reciprocity” in trade and economic relations.

”According to our Constitution, as interpreted by our Supreme Court, a trade arrangement must have a balance of, or reciprocity in concessions. However, in JPEPA, we got very little while Japan got everything it set out to achieve,” the petitioners further said. (PNA)

 source: Balita