President Aquino: No need to revoke VFA

MANILA, Oct. 20 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III said Monday there is no need to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) just because of the “sin of one person.”

“Bakit natin kailangan i-abrogate ‘yung VFA? I mean, name me any place that doesn’t have crime. And should the sin of one person be reflective of the entire country? I don’t think so,” the President said during a media interview in Palo, Leyte following the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the landing in the province of Allied forces led by General Douglas MacArthur during World War II.

“Ang importante dito, mayroong krimen na nangyari, kunin lahat ang ebidensiyang magpapatunay na ang may salarin ang may kasalanan dito, at magkaroon tayo ng katarungan,” he said.

Asked for an update on the government’s request to get custody of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, who is suspected of killing transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, the Chief Executive said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and United States Ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg are working to resolve the issue.

“They are working on resolving this issue, ‘yung custody. And at the very least making sure, based on the treaty again, that he is available or the suspects are available for both investigation in any and all judicial processes,” he said. (PNA)