MANILA – President Aquino said yesterday that there is no need to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) of the country with the United States.
The statement was made, following calls of several protesters for the Philippine custody of the US Marine accused in the killing of the Filipino transgender, Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.
“Why should the VFA be abrogated? I mean, name me any place that doesn’t have crime. And the sin of one person should be reflective of the entire country? I don’t think so,” Aquino told reporters during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf landing in Palo.
“What’s important here is that a crime was perpetrated (so) gather all the evidence to prove that the suspect is indeed guilty and obtain justice,” he added.
Agreeing with the president, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte also contradicts calls for the scrapping of the VFA emphasizing the importance of the pact to the country’s security.
He added that the country’s security agreement with the U.S. has nothing to do with the killing of Laude.
“Definitely that cannot be equated with one incident wherein we do not even know the facts of that incident,” Belmonte said.
“I’m sure they are working on resolving this issue. And at the very least making sure, based on the treaty, that the suspect is available for investigation and in all judicial processes,” Aquino said.