2009 Philippine-China Agreement on consular immunity is constitutionally infirm

The 2009 Bilateral agreement between the Philippines and China signed by then DFA Sec. Alberto Romulo, which accorded Chinese consular officials full immunity is constitutionally infirm. Such an agreement which provides for full immunity where international law only accords functional immunity is a new national policy and requires therefore the concurrence of the Philippine Senate. A DFA Secretary has no power to limit the applicability of Philippine laws for crimes committed in the Philippines. Only Congress can do this which is why the Constitution provides that no treaty shall be valid and binding in the Philippines without the concurrence of 2/3 votes of all the members of the Senate.

The 2009 accord illustrates why the executive’s position that any and all executive agreement do not require concurrence of the Senate is wrong.


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