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Encyclopedia > Visiting Forces Agreement

The Visiting Forces Agreement is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States which has been in force since February 10, 1998, as an extension of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951. The 9-article Agreement has been the subject of increasing controversy in the Philippines, as the U.S. has repeatedly used the Agreement to avoid local prosecution of military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines. Bilateralism is a term referring to trade or political relations between two states. ... February 10 is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII in Roman) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ...



The primary effect of the Agreement is that it allows the U.S. government to retain jurisdiction over any military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines, unless the crimes are of "special" importance to the Philippines. This means that for crimes without this significance, the U.S. can refuse to detain or arrest accused personnel, and may instead prosecute them under U.S. jurisdiction. The Agreement also exempts U.S. military personnel from visa and passport regulations in the Philippines. An entry visa valid in all Schengen treaty countries Visas for Laos, Thailand, and Sri Lanka A visa (short for the Latin carta visa, lit. ... The title page of European Union passports bears the name European Union, then the name of the issuing country, in the official languages of all EU countries. ...

The Agreement contains various procedural safeguards which amongst other things establish the right to due process and proscribe double jeopardy. The Agreement also prevents U.S. military personnel from being tried in Filipino military courts; requires both governments to waive any claims concerning loss of materials or personnel during war; exempts material exported and imported by the military from duties or taxes (Article VII); and allows unrestricted movement of U.S. vessels and aircraft in the Philippines (Article VIII). In jurisprudence, procedural defenses are a form of defense, via which a defendant may argue that they should not be held criminally liable for breaking the law, as the criminal justice program violated procedural law as it was creating its case, and trial, against said defendant. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Double jeopardy (also called autrefois acquit meaning already acquitted) is a procedural defense (and, in many countries such as the United States, Canada and India, a constitutional right) that forbids a defendant from being tried a second time for a crime, after having already been tried for the same crime. ... What constitutes a military tribunal varies according to nation and sometimes even military branch and regional jurisdiction. ...


The U.S. has repeatedly used the Agreement to keep accused military personnel under U.S. jurisdiction during trials. This most recently occurred on January 18, 2006, when the U.S. refused to hand over four soldiers accused of rape. This has led to unrest amongst many in the Phillipines, who believe that the Agreement is one-sided, prejudicial to Filipinos, and a fetter on the sovereignty of the Philippines. To the extent that the Agreement in effect grants immunity from prosecution to U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos, the Agreement is also seen as treating them as second class citizens in their own country. January 18 is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2006 (MMVI in Roman) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... Immunity confers a status ojavascript:insertTags(ì,,)n a person or body that makes that person or body free from otherwise legal obligations such as, for example, lijavascript:insertTags(Ú,,)ability for damages or punishment for criminal acts. ... Second class citizen is an informal term used to describe a disenfranchised person, either because they are literally barred from participating in voting or because they are generally regarded as of inferior social status in relation to dominant classes. ...

As a result of these issues, the Philippines government has recently began the process of repealing the VFA.

See also

Subic Bay is a bay on the west coast of the island of Luzon in the Philippines, about 100km northwest of Manila Bay. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
status-of-forces agreement - definition of status-of-forces agreement by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and ... (201 words)
Agreements delineating the status of visiting military forces may be bilateral or multilateral.
These provisions describe how the authorities of a visiting force may control members of that force and the amenability of the force or its members to the local law or to the authority of local officials.
To the extent that agreements delineate matters affecting the relations between a military force and civilian authorities and population, they may be considered as civil affairs agreements.
Materials on Visiting Forces Agreement (314 words)
The Philippine Senate, in a vote on 27 May 1999, ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement between the United States of America and the Philippines.
This clears the way for the holding of large scale joint military exercises of the two countries' armed forces on Philippine territory.
Visiting Forces Agreement: Letters and Faxes to Wavering Philippine Senators
  More results at FactBites »



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