Press Release
January 19, 2006

*GMA phone call could save VFA --- Recto*

All it takes is one phone call from her.

Sen. Ralph Recto believes President Arroyo can convince US President George W. Bush to order the transfer to a Philippine stockade of four American servicemen charged in the Subic rape case.

I dont think Bush will allow four rape suspects to get in the way of a beautiful relationship, Recto said.

If she has that direct line to the White House, as she is reputed to, then now is the time to use it . Pick up the phone, Maam, and make your call, he said.

Unlike Hello Garci, Hello George is one greeting wed like to hear, he said.

Recto said the two leaders closeness is for real, and not simply for photo ops, but, now is the time to test it, when it is before the bar of justice, not before the cameras.

The Visiting Forces Agreement may have left no room for the transfer of custody of the accused American personnel to Philippine authorities, but it does not bar the President of the United States from waiving his governments custodial rights , Recto said.

With calls mounting for the abrogation of the VFA over the United States refusal to hand over the suspects, Recto said the phone call the President will make is the phone call that can probably save the VFA.

Weve been saying that we should resort to diplomacy before we do something drastic about the VFA. Two leaders talking is diplomacy at the highest level. We should explore it, he said More are wrought upon this world by charm than by confrontation, and GMA has lots of the former, he said.

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