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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 8:12 AM | 14-10-2014

RP senators call for review of VFA terms

Senators urged the Aquino administration on Tuesday (14 Oct 2014) to review the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States, particularly on the aspect of criminal jurisdiction.

The call came after authorities have identified a US Marine as a suspect in the killing of a Filipino transgender in Olongapo City.

“The police and prosecutors should act fast lest the prescriptive period be breached. In the meantime, as before, I call on and urge the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to revisit and seek the amendment of the VFA especially on the lopsided criminal jurisdiction provision,” Sen Francis Escudero said in a text message.

Escudero stressed the government should not give up jurisdiction over criminal cases involving foreign nationalities that are committed in the country.

“That has always been my position, criminal jurisdiction cannot and should not be given up by our country for crimes committed here,” Escudero said.

“But again it’s the call of the Executive (department). They can persuade them (America); Congress has no power to compel them,” he said.

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