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Philippines ex-senators ask court to scrap new US defence pact

Published on May 26, 2014 8:18 PM

MANILA (REUTERS) - Two former senators, who voted to evict two large US military bases from the Philipiines in 1991, asked the Supreme Court on Monday to declare unconstitutional a new defence pact clinched with Washington, the first legal challenge to the pact.

The case will draw new attention to President Benigno Aquino's battles with the courts, which have blocked many of his administration's reforms since he came to power in 2010, including a landmark law creating a truth commission to examine the wrongdoings of past administrations.

Manila and Washington last month signed a new Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to allow US forces wider access to local bases and construct facilities to store logistics for maritime security and disaster operations.

On Monday, Mr Rene Saguisag and Mr Wigberto Tanada filed a 63-page petition alleging that the government had failed to uphold and protect the country's sovereignty and national interests.

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