EDITORIAL - Murders do not kill int’l agreements
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Freeman) - October 31, 2014 - 12:00am

Long before the Visiting Forces Agreement, and some of its controversial provisions, came to the spotlight as a result of the killing of a Filipino transgender allegedly by an American Marine, it had long been sitting there virtually undisturbed and untouched. While the document is not exactly well-loved by some Filipinos, it was largely left alone in years of dormancy.

A previous crime of almost similar circumstances once brought it to the fore but the VFA went back to its undisturbed state until recent events brought it up front again. The point is, from its signing to the first incident and then to the latest one, anyone who had any real and serious misgivings about pact had all the time and the opportunity in the world not just to assail it but to work for its ending, if that was truly the intention.

But no one bothered to do so, least of all Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who is supposed to be the most knowledgeable and credible among all senators on matters of foreign policy and relations. Had she done so and worked for the agreement's termination, under conditions uncompromised by exigencies and circumstance, it would have been a very credible and lucid initiative worthy of serious consideration, if not outright support.

 But she did not. She never filed any resolution calling for its termination nor initiated any action, even if only to call for a review of its provisions. Never mind if partylist congressman Walden Bello has joined her in the undertaking. Bello does not have the credibility nor the sense to be relevant in anything. But Santiago has the credentials. If only her timing had been propitious.

To complain now is to open her up for scrutiny regarding her motives and intentions. Besides, complaining now that an incident has happened unnecessarily puts the incident in a situation where it can be mistakenly weighed against the agreement when to do so is to look at the whole thing myopically, like seeing the tree instead of the forest.

Weighing the incident against the agreement makes for unfair and irrational comparisons. A single incident should not and must not compromise and destroy an entire agreement that has necessarily far-ranging implications in the bilateral relations of two countries. Had Santiago, with all her wisdom and foresight, not waited for an incident to happen but acted the moment it became apparent to her that the pact had onerous provisions against the Philippines, she would have been applauded.

Why she did not, nobody really knows. Yet even if nobody still knows why she is now doing it, people will pretend to know. And what they will pretend to know about Santiago and why she is doing what she is doing will not be any flattering. Her motives now will be suspect. Her capacity to think clearly will be questioned. And the worst cut of all, she will be ignored. She will not be getting what she wants.

 

AGREEMENT AMERICAN MARINE BUT SANTIAGO HAD SANTIAGO INCIDENT NOW PROVISIONS SANTIAGO SENATOR MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT WALDEN BELLO
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with