Arroyo Regime Violates National Soveriegnty
by Surrendering Convicted Rapist to the US
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
31 December 2006
The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is bad enough as an affront to
Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity. No self-respecting
country surrenders its jurisdiction over crimes that transpire within its
boundaries. All patriotic Filipinos demand the junking of the VFA.
The Philippine puppet officials have invoked the VFA to allow the unlimited
and continuous presence of US military forces and weapons in the Philippines
under the guise of joint military exercises and other pretexts in violation of
the 1987 constitution which bans foreign military bases, troops and nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
The VFA is a mere executive agreement, ratified by the Philippine Senate but
not by the US Senate. And yet it opens the way more widely for US military
forces to stay in the Philippines than the defunct US-RP Military Bases Agreement
and the existing US-RP Mutual Defense Pact (MDP) which allows US military
intervention only when the Philippines and/or the US are under military aggression
by a third country and when the US constitutional processes are complied with
in that regard.
Not satisfied with the already lopsided and unequal character of the MDP and
VFA against the Philippines, the Arroyo regime has treacherously collaborated
with the US government in going beyond the terms of the VFA by releasing
the convicted rapist Lance Corporal Daniel Smith from a Philippine jail to US
jurisdiction (the US embassy in particular for the moment).
In utter contempt of its own judicial system, the Arroyo regime has ordered the
release of Smith against the clear ruling of the Makati Regional Trial Court Judge
Benjamin Pozon that Smith has been duly convicted of the nonbailable crime of
rape and sentenced to 40 years, that the trial court proceedings have been
completed within one year, that US custody of Smith is terminated upon the
completion of the trial and rendition of judgment of conviction and that the US
and Philippine governments can only discuss and agree on the convict's place of
detention within Philippine jurisdiction.
The VFA explicitly stipulates that in the reckoning of the one-year period for the
completion of trial court proceedings it does not include the time necessary to
appeal and that if the trial court proceedings are not completed within a year
the US government shall be relieved of the obligation to present the accused
American soldier before the Philippine trial court.
Arroyo's executive order releasing Smith completely disregards the ruling of the
trial court judge and the pending related cases before the Supreme Court and
the Court of Appeals. Arroyo has willfully and maliciously encroached upon and
violated the defined sphere of her own government's judicial system.
She knows no bounds for her puppetry. She commits high treason by violating
the constitution and judicial system of her own government in following the
baseless argument of the US government that the Philippine judicial system has
failed to complete trial court proceedings against Smith within one year and that
he must go scot-free despite his conviction for the grave criminal offense of rape.
The US government has reclaimed custody over Smith in order to release him on
the false argument that it has no more obligation to present him before any Philippine
court after December 17, 2006. Both the Arroyo regime and US government have
shamelessly connived to take away the convicted rapist from the jurisdiction of the
Philippine judicial system. ###