MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday said it would be “farfetched” to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States for the purpose of stopping crimes involving Filipinos and Americans.
“If we abrogate the VFA, does that mean that nobody from the Philippines will be killed by someone from [the] US?” Aquino said during the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum.
The President also maintained that the VFA “serves a purpose for our country, and serves a purpose for America.”
Aquino further said that the VFA is constantly being reviewed by his administration.
Several lawmakers have called for the renegotiation or the complete termination of the VFA after the killing of 26-year-old transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.
Laude was allegedly killed by a US Marine, identified as Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.
Pemberton was transferred to the Philippine military headquarters earlier in the day. The US Marine is facing a murder complaint in connection with the killing of Laude.
Aquino nevertheless assured that the “tragedy” of Laude’s killing “will be settled, in the sense that the guilty will be made to answer for the crime.” (MNS)