Saturday, August 8, 2020

DOJ Sec. Guevarra Expands VFA Study To Include Impact Assessment


Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said his office has been directed to include the implications of the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the United States and the Philippines in their study.

“We have just been instructed today to expand the scope of our study to include a preliminary impact assessment on the possible termination of the VFA,” Guevarra told reporters, referring to the security, economic and environmental impact of the VFA termination into the country.

Guevarra earlier said last week that the memo sought by the Palace would only deal with the procedure for termination, not the wisdom of the executive action and answer such questions as: ‘Is the VFA a treaty or an executive agreement?’; ‘If it is a treaty, is Senate concurrence required for termination?’; ‘Who will give the notice of termination?’ (and), ‘Is it necessary to state any ground for termination?”

Guevarra explained the legal formalities were easier to determine.

“‘Yung legal, madali lang. ‘Yung impact assessment ang kailangan ng masusing pag-aaral (The legal questions are easier, It is the impact assessment that needs scrutiny,” the DOJ chief said.

He added that the timeframe for the termination depends on how soon the Cabinet cluster concerned on the matter can convene.

“I may even have to request the Cabinet cluster on justice, security, and peace to convene and discuss this matter,” he said.

On Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to start the process of termination of the VFA following the cancellation of the US visa of retired top cop and now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who used to be one of those who implemented the government’s anti-drug campaign.

Duterte earlier warned the US government that he will scrap the agreement if the cancelation of dela Rosa’s visa is not rectified within a month.

Signed by the Philippines and the US in 1998, the VFA is an executive agreement that stipulates how visiting American troops should be treated in the Philippines.

Aside from exempting US forces from passport and visa regulations, the agreement also states that their permits and licenses are also deemed valid in the Philippines. The same policy also applies to Filipino troops in US military installations.

It also allows Washington DC to retain jurisdiction over US personnel accused of crimes committed in the Philippines. (PNA)

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Usec. Paje: DSWD Prepared If Lawmakers Push For SAP 3

DSWD said it is prepared in case lawmakers decide to forward the third batch of emergency subsidy to low-income families who were affected by COVID-19.

Galvez: One Hospital Command Center To Reduce COVID-19 Death Rate

The government will intensify its efforts in reducing the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients by establishing the "One Hospital Command” system.

Guv. Garcia: Cebu Allots P105-M To Help Pandemic-Affected MSMEs

Cebu City is allotting PHP105 million to provide financial assistance to distressed MSMEs affected by the pandemic.

Mayor Isko Allots P200-M For COVID-19 Vaccine Once Available

Mayor Isko signs an ordinance allocating PHP200 million for the immediate procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for all Manileños.

Sen. Gatchalian: Ensure Learners With Disabilities’ Access To Health Care Services

Gatchalian urges DepEd to ensure that learners with disabilities continue to receive access to therapies and other health care and rehabilitation services.

Spox. Roque: Palace Distances From Proposal To Regulate Socmed Under Anti-Terror Law

“Opinyon po ‘yan si Gen. Gapay. Binasa ko naman po ang anti-terror law, wala pong probisyon dun na magagamit laban sa social media."

Sen. Go: Involve More Experts In Battle Vs. COVID-19

"Pakinggan po natin ang mga hinaing ng iba’t ibang grupo tulad nitong mga nasa medical community."

House OKs Medical Scholarship Bill On 2nd Reading

House Bill 6756 that aims to grant scholarships among deserving medical students, gets second approval from the House of Representatives.

Mayor Fernandez Appeals For More Organized Transport Of LSIs

"I hope that the national government, the national IATF can put up a coordinating team in Manila; per province, there is a desk that will manage locally stranded individuals."

Pres. Duterte Stance Remains ‘Friend To All, Enemy To None’

Roque assures the country that PRRD continues to conform to the “friend to all, enemy to none” independent foreign policy by avoiding tensions with other countries.