MANILA – Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello filed a joint resolution calling for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The resolution stated that the VFA is used as a shield of the US military to cover their violation of the Philippine laws.
“Enough is enough. The Lower House and the Senate are protecting the Filipino people, the people we represent in office, the people whose rights and dignity have been continuously violated by the US military, by terminating the VFA,” Bello said.
“The VFA allows the US military to act in wanton disregard for Philippine sovereignty, destroy our environment and violate the human rights and dignity of the Filipino people,” he said.
The case of the 26-year-old transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, who was allegedly killed by US Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, was cited as an example.
Numerous infractions have been committed by US servicemen since the VFA’s adoption in 1999, according to the lawmakers.
“And instead of owning up to their mistakes, paying reparations to the Filipino people and ensuring justice for victims of heinous crimes committed by their own personnel, we have the American authorities repeatedly resorting to the VFA to evade accountability,” Bello said.