July 30, 2009
This is independent Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan’s reminder to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as she meets with US President Barack Obama over a variety of topics. According to news reports, the Arroyo administration’s human rights record is also on the agenda.
“It is disconcerting that a former colonial master needs to remind the Philippine President that her human rights record is pathetic,” Pangilinan says. “It is disconcerting that the newly elected US President had to suffer criticism for choosing to talk to the President of one of its staunchest allies in Southeast Asia. But what will be most disconcerting is when President Arroyo fails to bring up the issue of the VFA, a piece of legal agreement that makes a mockery of much-vaunted American ideals such as democracy and human rights because of its inherently unequal nature.”
Earlier this year, Pangilinan called for the abrogation and review of the VFA in light of the treaty’s “lopsided ” nature. This call was echoed by seven other senators and various organizations.
“We hope the President does the country proud by bringing up the abrogation of this unfair treaty. Sana hindi ito mauwi sa puro papogi o kodakan lamang at maalaala naman ng Pangulong Arroyo na siya ay kinatawan ng sambayanang Pilipino.”