Pangilinan moves to have VFA terminated

February 17, 2009

Amita Legaspi
February 16, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan on Monday filed a resolution calling for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the mutual defense agreement between the Philippines and the US that was signed in 1999. 

In filing Senate Resolution 892, Pangilinan said the US Supreme Court upheld that “a treaty, even if ratified by the United States Senate, is not enforceable as domestic federal law in the United States, unless the US enacts the implementing legislation, or the treaty by its terms is self-executory and ratified by the US Senate as such.”
“Their Supreme Court rendered the VFA unconstitutional in the Philippine territory and now they invoke this unconstitutional agreement to keep a convicted rapist out of our reach. Have we no self-respect?” Pangilinan said in a press statement. 

Pangilinan was referring to Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, whose stay at the US Embassy despite being convicted of rape was thumbed down by the Philippine Supreme Court last week. 

Pangilinan’s resolution also asked President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to “re-visit the provisions of the VFA and accordingly exercise our right to terminate the agreement considering that supervening events have rendered the VFA as unconstitutional.” 

“The President should terminate the VFA now if we are to preserve whatever respect we have left. Any national leader of a self-respecting nation would do the same given the lopsided circumstances,” he said.

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