Side agreement will be reviewed after Philippines recalls termination of VFA: DND
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed belief that the side agreement for the implementation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States will be reviewed following the retraction of the VFA termination letter.
"I believe before the VFA letter of termination was retracted by the president, the document was not touched because if the abrogation of VFA was implemented, this document will become useless,'' he said in an online interview.
''I believe that after the retraction of the termination letter the (process for) the document will continue, I believe it will be reviewed," he said.
Lorenzana said he has not seen the side agreement but he mentioned that one of the inputs from the security sector includes the custody of United States forces who committed crimes in the Philippines.
"In the original documen,t this troop can be under the custody of the Americans. It's slightly an irritant. Many Filipinos were against this because like the rape and murder cases we're not able to place them under our custody despite the fact they committed the crimes here in the Philippines so that is one of the most contentious issues," he said.
"The Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces and the security sector initiated this to address the concern of the Filipinos on how are we going to implement the VFA in the manner that is fair for our people. We are not directed by the president. It is our initiatives to look into the agreement," said Lorenzana.
"I hope I can also see so I can talk about it but it's already there on the drawing board. It's already in Malacanang and just waiting for scrutiny of the Office of the President before it will be forwarded to the president," he added. Robina Asido/DMS