Press Release
February 18, 2009

Loren talks on Smith stalled

Our Supreme Courthas already ruled that Daniel Smithshould be held under Philippine custody pursuant to our laws. We, Filipinos, are not asking the US a favor but are simply insisting that our laws be respected as we, in turn, respect the laws of the United States and other countries. We Filipinos should not allow ourselves to be second-class citizens in our own country. Our government is duty-bound to implement the Supreme Court decision.

I find absurd the attitude of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita that the Philippines should wait as the US is sending its experts on treatises to, and I quote, "come here and help in untangling whatever misconception there might be in the ruling of our Supreme Court." First off, we don't need American lawyers to explain to us our laws.

We have a saying in the vernacular that applies to the seemingly half-baked effort by our own government to get Smith. It is that: Kapag gusto may paraan, ngunit kung ayaw ay maraming dahilan. I believe that the US will not compromise its bilateral relationship with the Philippines over a convicted rapist. Also, I do not see the American public condoning the rape of a Filipinaby giving her tormentor special privileges. After all, as stated by the US Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal." Therefore all men should be treated alike under the law, Filipinos and Americans. What if a Filipino committed the crime of rape in the United States, would the US allow him to be detained in the Philippine embassyor consulate?

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