February 16, 2009
KIKO FILES RESOLUTION TO TERMINATE VFA
Independent senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan today filed Senate Resolution No. 892 calling for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) on the grounds that its provisions are "contrary to the 1987 Philippine Constitution."
In a two-page resolution, Kiko cited the circumstances and the decisions made in the case involving convicted rapist Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, particularly the Romulo-Kenney agreements of December 2006 placing Smith under the custody of the US Embassy, as well as the Medellin vs Texas case of March 2008, where 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."
"This clearly violates our constitutional provision on the presence of foreign military bases, troops, or facilities in the country since one of the conditions is lacking, to wit: to recognize it as a treaty by the other contracting state," the resolution reads.
The resolution calls for the expression of "the sense of the Senate that Philippine sovereignty should be respected by other states and should in no way be put in jeopardy by any treaty or agreements previously entered [into] by the Philippine Government."
The resolution also asks the President 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."
"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," Kiko pointed out. "Have we no self-respect? We shouldn't be groveling at their feet. 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."
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