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US opposes VFA review —Wikileaks By Michaela P. del Callar 08/31/2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

US opposes VFA review —Wikileaks

By Michaela P. del Callar 08/31/2011

The United States had opposed the review of the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the Philippines even as the Philippine government pointed out “defects” in the defense accord, a US Embassy cable released by online whistleblower WikiLeaks said.

Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs Richard Lawless, who visited in Manila in 2007, told Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis in a meeting that there is no need to review the agreement since it is working well for both countries.

Manila is spe-cifically against a vague provision granting the US primary custody of American military personnel ac-cused of breaking Philippine laws. Surrendering erring American troops to Philippine authorities would mean they would have to be incarcerated in a local jail, touted as one of the worst prison cells in the world, and join other Filipino inmates, a move the US government strongly objects.

This situation was put to a test when Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith was accused of raping a Filipina off military hours..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20110831hed2.html

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