Group asks SC to order VFA renegotiation
MANILA - A group of petitioners has asked the Supreme Court to order the renegotiation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States consistent with the high court's ruling on the VFA in 2009.
This comes in the wake of the grounding of a US minesweeper in the Tubbataha World Heritage site.
"Recent events, specifically, the grounding of USS Guardian in Tubbataha Reef and our government's reaction to it, have once more underscored the difficult situation that continues to face our government in properly enforcing the Visiting Forces Agreement," the motion read.
Suzette Nicolas, et al., through a 14-page motion for execution, urged the high court to issue a writ of execution on its judgment dated Feb. 11, 2009 and order the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to negotiate with the US government for: (1) a more equitable and just Visiting Forces Agreement, and barring that, cancellation of the agreement on the part of the Philippines; or (2) proper detention facilities for US military service people under Philippine authorities.
"While we believe that this motion does not solve the bigger issue of the unfair and inequitable provisions and unconstitutionality as a whole of the VFA, it is a step towards ensuring that a portion of this defective agreement will not be used again in the future to subvert Philippines interests," the motion read.
Petitioners were the same petitioners who filed the case against the constitutionality of the VFA.