Thursday, December 18, 2014

DFA request for Pemberton custody is pabalat-bunga, lacks weight of a sovereign state

Press Release
December 18, 2014

The Partido Manggagawa (PM) viewed the effort of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to request custody of Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton, prime suspect in the killing of transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, as insincere or “pabalat-bunga” since pleading for it through a ceremonial letter lacks the weight of a sovereign state.

“The DFA was basically pleading to get back the sovereignty we lost under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). And the most stupid thing is to do it now is through a formal request,” said PM spokesman Wilson Fortaleza.

In the first place, Fortaleza argued, the DFA was not expecting US approval of its request because prior to commission of any crime by American soldiers, the government has already agreed to the provision that gave US the right to retain custody of its personnel involved in crimes in Philippine soil. 

According to PM, the request was rather intended to pacify growing criticisms over a kind of foreign policy blunder that borders on outright surrender if not patent subservience to a colonial master. 

Until said provision is deleted from the VFA, including other devious provisions in favor of US interest, Filipinos cannot expect justice for the likes of Jennifer, and would-be victims of American soldiers in Philippine soil. 

PM added that the Philippines can effectively get hold of Pemberton only if it acts like a free nation and its foreign policy presided not by a certified Amboy. PM, together with other militant groups, is calling for the scrapping of the VFA and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States.

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