KIKO PANGILINAN CONDEMNS PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF SMITH

May 5, 2009

Press Release
April 24, 2009

 

KIKO PANGILINAN CONDEMNS PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT OF SMITH

 

Independent senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is outraged at the turn of events concerning US Marine Daniel Smith, who was able to fly out of the country a day after his acquittal. “Ito ay patunay na kapag ikaw ay sundalong Amerikano na napapasailalim sa ating sistema ng katarungan at ating mga hukom, ay mas pinapaboran ka ng mga batas kaysa sa mga kapwa nating mga Pilipino.”

 

Pangilinan expressed serious concern over the message that Smith’s sudden acquittal, and even more swift departure from the country, is sending out to Filipinos. “There are two standards for the treatment of persons facing criminal cases in the country; one for US soldiers and another for lesser mortals like you and I. This is the situation the Constitution sought to prevent when it laid down stringent measures for the entry of foreign troops in Philippine soil.”

 

Pangilinan said that the Visiting Forces Agreement has created a constitutionally flawed system of justice. “It makes a mockery of our criminal laws and our penal institution. It must be abrogated immediately. There is no other proof necessary to show that the VFA provides special and preferential treatment to US soldiers facing criminal cases in our justice system. The Smith case puts our entire justice system to shame. We shamelessly allow preferential treatment for the US soldiers while denying our own kind the same privileges. We should be ashamed of this kind of justice system we now run, no thanks to the VFA.”

 

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