April 24, 2009
KIKO PANGILINAN: ACQUITTAL OF SMITH RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS, VFA TO BLAME
Independent senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed serious concern over the acquittal of American Marine Daniel Smith by the Court of Appeals. “We are quite disturbed by the reversal coming as it does soon after Nicole’s highly questionable recantation. It must be remembered that the recantation was facilitated by lawyers of the accused,” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan also reiterated his stand on the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement in light of Smith’s acquittal. The Senator filed Resolution 892 on February 2009, calling for the termination of the VFA on the grounds that its provisions are contrary to the Philippine Constitution.
“While I believe that the acquittal of Smith has no bearing on the illegality of the VFA, it still must be abrogated. If for anything else, we must ensure that we do not have a repeat of this sorry incident. The VFA must be terminated to uphold the dignity of our women and our sovereignty as a nation.”
Pangilinan is skeptical of the manner in which Smith was acquitted by the CA. “One cannot help but wonder if all was done in order to lay the groundwork for this acquittal. This decision of the CA definitely raises more questions than answers.”