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BAYAN MUNA, as represented by Rep. SATUR OCAMPO, Rep.

CRISPIN BELTRAN, and Rep. LIZA L. MAZA,Petitioner,


vs.
ALBERTO ROMULO, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, and
BLAS F. OPLE, in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign
Affairs, Respondents.

G.R. No. 159618, February 1, 2011

Facts:

On December 28, 2000, the Republic of the Philippines, through Charge


dAffaires Enrique A. Manalo signed the Rome Statute which, by its terms,
is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by the signatory states.
As of the filing of the instant petition, only 92 out of the 139 signatory
countries appear to have completed the ratification, approval and
concurrence process. The Philippines is not among the 92 RP-US Non-
Surrender Agreement.

On May 9, 2003, then Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone sent US Embassy


Note No. 0470 to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) proposing the
terms of the non-surrender bilateral agreement between the USA and the
Republic of the Philippines via Exchange Notes No. BFO-028-037 dated
May 13, 2003, the Republic of the Philippines represented by then DFA
Secretary Ople agreed with and accepted the US proposals embodied
under the US Embassy Note adverted to and put in effect the Agreement
with the US government. In essence, the Agreement aims to protect what
it refers to and defines as persons of the Republic of the Philippines and
US from frivolous harassment suits that might that might be brought
against them in international tribunals. It is reflective of the increasing
pace of the strategic security and defense partnership between the two
countries. As of May 2, 2003 similar bilateral agreements have been
effected by and between the US and 33 other countries.

ISSUE: Whether the President may validly ratify the Agreement through
his Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary.

HELD:

By constitutional fiat and by the nature of his or her office, the President,
as head of state and government, is the sole organ and authority in the
external affairs of the country. The Constitution vests in the President the
power to enter into international agreements, subject, in appropriate
cases, to the required concurrence votes of the Senate. But as earlier
indicated, executive agreements may be validly entered into without such
concurrence. As the President wields vast powers and influence, her
conduct in the external affairs of the nation is, as Bayan would put it,
"executive altogether." The right of the President to enter into or ratify
binding executive agreements has been confirmed by long practice.

In thus agreeing to conclude the Agreement thru E/N BFO-028-03, then


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, represented by the Secretary of
Foreign Affairs, acted within the scope of the authority and discretion
vested in her by the Constitution. At the end of the day, the Presidentby
ratifying, thru her deputies, the non-surrender agreementdid nothing
more than discharge a constitutional duty and exercise a prerogative that
pertains to her office.