MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to end the Visiting Forces Agreement over the United States visa revocation of Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa is a “childish bluff” and an insult to the victims of United States soldiers in the Philippines, the militant Gabriela Women’s Party said on Friday.
“President Duterte’s threat to revoke the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for the sake of Sen. Bato Dela Rosa’s US visa is an insult to women and children victimized by the continued presence of US troops on our soil,” Gabriela Women’s Party said in a statement.
Gabriela said Duterte made a “cheap bargain for a treaty that justifies the free pass of American soldiers to launch war games and commit grave sexual offenses.”
According to Gabriela, the premise of the termination should be the victims of US soldiers.
“It should be based on Filipino women’s long-standing rejection of US military presence in the country that has spawned numerous cases of rape, sexual abuse of women, and even the murder of transwoman Jennifer Laude,” Gabriela said.
Gabriela further argued that VFA and other “one-sided military treaties” must be scrapped even if Dela Rosa’s visa is not restored.
Duterte had threatened to terminate the VFA if the US visa of Dela Rosa is not restored.
Dela Rosa had already confirmed the cancellation of his U.S. visa.
Transgender woman Jennifer Laude was killed by US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton in 2015. (STACY ANG/IA)