Senator Roxas to GMA: Follow Supreme Court order, jail Daniel Smith

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | posted in , , , , , , | 0 comments

Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should comply with the Supreme Court (SC) order on the transfer of a convicted US solder to Philippine custody to avert another prolonged political debate on the need to review or scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippine and US governments.
"Walang kapalit ang dangal natin. Ipinagbuwis ito ng buhay ng mga ninuno natin. Nararapat lang na siguruhin ni GMA na hindi ito tinatapak-tapakan kahit pa man ng Amerika (There is no price for our country's honor. Our ancestors died defending it. It is but proper for GMA to ensure that no one steps or smears our country's honor, even if it involves the American government)," he said.
He noted that demands for a review or scrapping of the VFA came only after the government refused to comply with the SC order and allowed Lance Corporal Daniel Smith to continue being detained at the US Embassy compound in Manila.

The SC had ordered the transfer of Smith to Philippine custody while serving his jail term for the rape of a Filipina in Subic, Zambales. It, however, upheld the constitutionality of the VFA.

Smith was found guilty of rape on Dec. 4, 2006 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The convicted soldier had been under US custody since his conviction two years ago.
"Naging issue lang naman ito (VFA validity) dahil ayaw ipatupad ni GMA ang hatol ng SC. Mawawala ang dahilan sa pag-review ng VFA kung gagawin ni GMA ang utos ng SC (This became an issue because GMA refused to comply with the SC decision. All these calls will become mute if GMA implements the order)," Roxas said.

He added: "Lagi na lang nating isinasakripisyo ang dangal, ang pangalan ng ating bansa para sa kapakanan ng gobyernong ito. Mas importante pa ba ang sasabihin ng Amerika kumpara sa karangalan nating mga Filipino (We have been sacrificing our country's honor for the sake of this government. Is America's sentiments more important compared to our reputation)?"



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Kevin Ray N. Chua

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