Ocampo said the CA ruling is ‘a big loss’ for the Filipino people. “[It]…is at bottom a major blow to our national sovereignty and dignity, and to Philippine jurisprudence.”
“All recent developments on the Subic rape case, including the termination of Nicole’s legal counsel and the recent affidavit of Nicole, all point to political manipulations being orchestrated by no less than the US and the Philippine governments,” said Salvador.?
Bayan’s Reyes agreed, “The acquittal shows us that the Philippine-US relations will always take precedence over public interest and national sovereignty. … The US and Malacañang script simply played out exactly as they planned,” Reyes asserted.
“Malacañang has been hoping for this acquittal to happen so that the controversial custody provision in the VFA [Visiting Forces Agreement] will cease to be an issue. It’s clear that the VFA was the principal consideration in the acquittal of Smith,” Reyes added.
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) signed by then President Joseph Estrada on May 27, 1999 governs the conduct and treatment of US forces participating in US-RP joint military exercises.
Immune from criminal liability
“So long as the VFA is in place, Filipinos will never achieve justice when US troops are the offenders. The VFA and the Philippine-US relations will always be used as a leverage by the US government to shield American soldiers from any criminal liability,” Reyes said.
Ocampo argued, “In practical effect, the CA decision abets the abuses of ‘visiting’ US military forces that have a historical record since the long years that the US military bases were in the country. The Appeals Court’s acquittal of Smith also raises questions on probable political pressures on the justices coming from the US government and the executive branch.”
The groups reiterated their demand for the scrapping of the VFA.(Bulatlat.com)
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Isama nang hambalosin si Pimentel. Nag-umpisang lumamya noong 2004 upang makuha ang basbas ng mga Kano sa kanyang ambisyong maging Presidente. Nang di ito makuha di pa rin natuto. He should remember that the bases treaty was defeated in 1991. Duwag.
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