Visiting Forces Agreement In The Philippines

“It is indeed the right of the Philippine government to do so if it finds that the agreement is no longer in our national interest,” Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said on 24 January. The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual threats. [2] [VIII 2-6] The agreement also exempts Filipino personnel from visa formalities and ensures expedited entry and exit; [2] [IV] requires the United States to accept Philippine driver`s licenses; [2] [V] authorizes Philippine personnel to carry weapons to U.S. military facilities during deployment; [2] [VI] provides for exemptions and import/export duties for Filipino personnel; [2] [X, XI] requires the United States to provide medical care to Filipino personnel; [2] [XIV] and exempts Philippine vehicles, ships and aircraft from landing or port charges, shipping or overflight charges, road tolls or any other charge for the use of U.S. military installations. [2] [XV] The United States used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under U.S. jurisdiction. [5] On January 18, 2006, the U.S. Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court. [6] They were detained by U.S.

officials at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos[7] and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country. [8] [9] As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006. [10] [11] However, the agreement has not been amended. Under Article V of the agreement, the custody of U.S. personnel whose case falls under Philippine jurisdiction must “immediately reside with the U.S.

military authorities if they wish” from the time the crime was committed, until all legal proceedings are completed. However, U.S. military authorities make the accused available to the Philippine authorities “in a timely manner for investigations or judicial proceedings related to the offence.” A1: No. The VFA is an agreement between the two countries to support the Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT). The MDT was established in 1951 between the United States and the Philippines to provide mutual assistance in the event of an attack on foreigners. The Agreement on Enhanced Defence Cooperation (EDCA), signed in April 2014 under then-President Benigno Aquino III, aims to operationalize the VFA. Military activities authorized by the Philippines are also insinuated in the context of the VFA. The executive agreement provides for an increased military turnover of U.S.

troops, aircraft and ships in the Philippines and allows them greater access to military bases in the country.