Philippines: US urges caution on Philippines defence treaty review

This is from AFP.

The US wonders why there is so much anti-Americanism in the world. This episode is a perfect example. Even though the Philippine Supreme Court has ordered the marine back into Philippine custody he is being retained by the US. Earlier he was more or less snatched from Philippine custody by the US while in a local facility. The claim by the US is that until final appeals are exhausted he can remain in US custody. No matter what interpretation the Philippine Supreme Court makes. The Arroyo govt. must obviously have co-operated with the US in allowing the marine to be removed from local custody originally!





US urges caution on Philippines defence treaty review
1 day ago
MANILA (AFP) — The United States Monday cautioned the Philippines against reviewing their defence treaty, in a row over a US Marine's appeal against a 40-year jail sentence for raping a Filipina.
US envoy Kristie Kenney said it was "premature to talk about reviewing" the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) while the case of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith was being scrutinised.
Smith was convicted in 2006 of raping the Filipina after he took part in war games in the Philippines.
He was initially sent to a local jail to start his 40-year sentence, but was later transferred to a facility inside the US embassy in Manila when the case went on appeal, triggering public outrage. The appeal has yet to be heard.
The US embassy has ignored an order by the Philippines' Supreme Court ordering Smith to be returned to Philippine custody.
A number of Philippine senators have called for the VFA to be reviewed or revoked altogether.
"I think we should take guidance," Kenney told reporters Monday, stressing that Washington took all its treaties "very seriously."
"We don't sign them lightly. We pay attention to them and we do our best to comply. So we do take any thought of review very seriously," she said.
Some pro-US officials and legislators have warned that killing the treaty could force Washington to downgrade defence ties with Manila, which the Bush administration considered a key regional ally in the global war on terrorism.
The VFA outlines the rules governing conduct of US troops participating in joint military exercises here.
The treaty's ratification in 1999 provided the legal cover for the resumption of large-scale joint military exercises between the two allies.

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