Press Release
November 17, 2012

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago
(Keynote speech at the annual convention of the Philippine Academy of Medical Specialists, Inc.
on 17 November 2012 at Diamond Hotel.)

Today, as an opening remark, I am happy to announce to media that on Monday, November 19, I shall file in the Senate a joint resolution terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). I charge that the United States has failed to comply with, and has violated, Philippine law, as well as international norms and customs on the protection and preservation of the environment. The resolution directs the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to give notice of termination to the US.

Under the VFA, neither the Philippines nor the US needs to cite a basis or to comply with any prerequisite to terminate the agreement. One party will simply notify the other in writing that it desires to terminate the agreement. This joint resolution will be treated as a bill passed by the two chambers of Congress. Just like a bill, this resolution can be vetoed by the President. But even so, I hope that this resolution will become a historic compulsive force among the Filipino youth, particularly in our universities. I call on students throughout the country to demand that the VFA should be scrapped.

I have the permission of Rep. Walden Bello to announce that he will file a counterpart resolution in the House of Representatives also on Monday. Copies of the text of the joint resolution have been distributed to media.

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