13 February 2009

For Reference: REP. LIZA LARGOZA MAZA 0920-9134540
Francis Uyanguren (Public Information Officer) 0929-4511305


“The Philippine government should uncompromisingly enforce custodyover Smith and must follow the Supreme Court decision. Arroyo administration’s footdragging shows its servility to the US interests, putting our women to greater shame and danger.”

Thus said Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party
Representative Liza Maza today as reports have it that government is
in no rush to get custody over convicted rapist Corporal Daniel Smith
despite Supreme Court’s order that he be moved from the US Embassy to a Philippine prison.

The Gabriela solon said that the SC ruling on Smith’s custody should
be implemented in no time, but because the RP-US Visiting Forces
Agreement was still upheld, justice would not be served in cases that
involve US military personnel because the question of jurisdiction is
not clear.

“With the Supreme Court ruling the VFA constitutional and all its
vague provisions, we are virtually surrendering our sovereignty to the US. Clearly, the VFA violates the constitutional provision that bars
permanent basing of US troops in our land. Worst, the US doesn’t
recognize VFA at all which only means that it is not enforceable,”
Maza said.

“With the scheduled military exercises of US troops in Masbate, Albay, and Sorsogon, our communities, especially our women and children are imperiled given that this unequal agreement can be maximized by the US to their advantage. Thus, we call on the Arroyo administration to pull out the US troops in the country in no delay,” Maza added.

“The Arroyo administration must immediately terminate the RP-US VFA in order to protect our people from further abuse. It is just condemnable how this present administration can simply stand to witness injustices inflicted upon its people,” Maza stressed.

Gabriela Women’s Party National Headquarters
118 Scout Rallos, Brgy. Sacred Heart,
Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9295342

Office of Gabriela Rep. Liza Largoza Maza
Rm 309 South Wing Bldg.,
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9316268

Office of Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan
Rm. 601 South Wing Bldg.
House of Representatives, Quezon City
Telefax: (632) 9315586