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Daniel Smith, VFA2, And ‘Nicole’: Goliath VS David

February 22, 2009


The Filipina rape victim of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith will push the envelope this week to get the controversial RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement to be declared unconstitutional.

The ‘David VS Goliath’ tactic is quite an early test given that the high court specifically upheld the pact’s legal soundness in that 9-4 decision on February 11 where it directed a renegotiation of the custodial arrangement for Smith.

But Nicole’s lawyer is banking on the newly admitted “non-secret”: VFA2, an agreegment that is described as “complementary” to VFA 1 with direct application to how Filipino servicemen will be treated if they tangle with American law while ‘on mission’ in the United States.

At first blush there really appears to be nothing objectionable in VFA 2, from this writer’s non-lawyer eyes.

But wait, a close examination even by a layman will show how the language of VFA2 cites the nature of the criminal ‘fix’ the Filipino serviceman may find himself in and the position to be taken by Federal and State authorities.

vfa2-quote-grfxThis simply means VFA2 does not, and cannot, accord the same reciprocal legal benefit to an accused Filipino serviceman as VFA1 clothes Lance Corporal Smith.

This corner submits humbly:

The need for the Supreme Court to call new oral arguments on its recent decision, and on the upcoming case versus VFA 2, now appears to be imperative, and urgent.

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