Press Release
April 24, 2009

Press statement of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.

On Court of Appeals' decision on Nicole's rape case

That was to be expected after Nicole made a retraction. In effect, she said there was no rape. And the Court of Appeals is both a triers of facts and law. And so, they must have considered that withdrawal as a vital link between innocence and eventual acquittal of Smith.

Of course it could not be avoided, there were doubts, there may have been pressure. But as for how the court came up with its ruling, I am sure it tended to focus on the retraction.

On proposal to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement

I only wish to emphasize the fact that, you cannot abrogate the VFA unilaterally. It is a treaty that has to take into account the views of the partner, which in this case, happens to be a giant. We pygmies in this international game are tied up with a giant in this VFA. What I am saying is if that is the aim of some of my colleagues, that will be quite difficult to do.

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