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May 26, 2014 AT 4:51 AM
Two former senators, who voted to evict two large U.S. military bases from the Philipiines in 1991, asked the Supreme Court on Monday to declare unconstitutional a new defense 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. "The executive has circumvented the correct and brave stand by the Philippine Senate in 1991 in refusing to renew the bases treaty by illegally entering into the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement," the petitioners said in their submission.