VFA
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U.S. increases surveillance support to PH military

Sep 11, 2017 - 11:16 AM

The United States deployed the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems UAS to Mindanao the US embassy says in a statement

U.S. to conduct air strikes in Marawi? No need, says Lorenzana

Aug 08, 2017 - 2:20 PM

The Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the US may not apply according to AFP chief General Eduardo Año

AIRSTRIKE. An Air Force MD-520MG Defender light attack helicopter fires rockets at militant positions in Marawi on May 30, 2017. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Cayetano, Sotto, Carpio | Evening wRap

May 10, 2017 - 8:25 PM

Watch the evening newscast with Zak Yuson

SC's Carpio: Philippines can't have VFA with China

May 10, 2017 - 2:50 PM

It s difficult to have a VFA with a country claiming your territory For me it is common sense says Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

COMMON SENSE. Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says the Philippines cannot have a Visiting Forces Agreement with China. Rappler photo

14 senators' resolution: Senate has a say in termination of treaties

Feb 13, 2017 - 4:15 PM

The power to bind the Philippines by a treaty and international agreement is vested jointly by the Constitution in the President and the Senate reads the Senate resolution

File photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

De Lima: Duterte changing PH foreign policy to serve his ego

Dec 18, 2016 - 9:30 PM

There is so much at stake here – the Filipino people s lives well being security and even our very sovereignty says Senator Leila de Lima

Duterte to U.S.: Pay for troops to stay in PH

Dec 18, 2016 - 12:51 PM

You want to come back here? You pay us You want bases here? Pay us Transaction tayo pera pera nalang tayo mabuti pa says President Rodrigo Duterte on the possible abrogation of the VFA

NO MORE VFA? President Rodrigo Roa Duterte explains the severity of the human right violations allegedly perpetrated by the Americans who colonized the country for 50 years in his speech during his arrival at the Davao International Airport in Davao City on December 17, 2016. Photo by Ace Morandante/PPD

Duterte wants VFA scrapped, but will 'wait' for Trump

Dec 17, 2016 - 1:44 AM

Though he wants the military deal with the US abrogated Duterte says he will wait before making any decision in deference to Donald Trump s assumption of the US presidency

ARRIVAL MESSAGE. Pres. Rodrigo Duterte delivers his arrival message at the Davao International Airport on Dec 17, 2016 after his state visits to Cambodia and Singapore. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

SC upholds PH-US military deal

Jul 26, 2016 - 4:46 PM

The SC affirms its January ruling upholding the constitutionality of EDCA saying petitioners failed to raise new arguments in their motions for reconsideration

UPHELD. The Supreme Court affirms the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the US, signed in April 2014. File photo

Pemberton sentence reduced

Apr 04, 2016 - 6:18 PM

The lawyer for the Laude family says stresses that the lighter penalty of 6 10 years imprisonment still disqualifies Pemberton from seeking early release through parole

MAXIMUM OF 10 YEARS. The Olongapo court reduces US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton's sentence from 12 to 10 years. In this file photo, Pemberton (center) is escorted by security as he arrives at a court in Olongapo city, Philippines, December 1, 2015. Stringer/EPA

Laude case: Pemberton files appeal to reverse conviction

Jan 07, 2016 - 8:37 AM

UPDATED The American s lawyer also files a separate motion seeking a reduced sentence for the marine in the event that the acquittal is not granted

In this file photo, US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton (C) is escorted by security as he arrives at a court in Olongapo city, Philippines, December 1, 2015. Stringer/EPA

Aquino defends cell for Pemberton amid renovation

Dec 05, 2015 - 4:59 PM

The US reportedly wants Pemberton’s detention cell in the Philippines to meet American standards

FOUND GUILTY. A handout picture released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines shows convicted US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton (C) being escorted to his detention cell upon arrival at Camp Aguinaldo at suburban Quezon City, northeast of Manila, Philippines, on December 1, 2015. Photo courtesy of Armed Forces of the Philippines/EPA

Pemberton to return to Camp Aguinaldo

Dec 01, 2015 - 8:07 PM

UPDATED This comes after Pemberton s counsel filed an urgent motion asking the court to direct the US Marine s confinement to the custodial center instead of the New Bilibid Prison

CONVICTED. US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was found guilty of homicide in the death of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude. Photo by Randy Datu/ Rappler

PH officials welcome Pemberton verdict, but some wary

Dec 01, 2015 - 7:21 PM

Leftist lawmakers fear the PH US Visiting Forces Agreement could still come into play

'JUSTICE FOR LAUDE.' Some government officials, including Vice President Jejomar Binay, welcome the conviction of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton for homicide. Rappler file photo

LOOKING BACK: Daniel Smith and the Subic rape case

Dec 01, 2015 - 7:07 PM

Pemberton s fate mirrors that of fellow US serviceman Daniel Smith who was implicated in the Subic rape case nearly a decade ago

HEARING. US Marines Staff Sergeant Dominic Duplantis (L) and Lance Corporal Daniel Smith leave the courtroom after their hearing on the Subic rape case in 2006. Photo by Mike Alquinto/EPA

PH, US coast guard units eye ‘Balikatan’

Sep 24, 2015 - 6:48 PM

’The trend now is white to white ’ PCG commandant Admiral Rodolfo Isorena says referring to a ‘coast guard to coast guard’ set up

Japan military chief in PH for Pacific Partnership 2015

Aug 12, 2015 - 8:15 PM

Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano is in the Philippines to observe the largest multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo Asia Pacific region

BAYANIHAN. Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Hernando Iriberr presents Japan Self-Defense Forces chief of staff Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano with a token of golden men relocating a "kubo" (nipa hut) depicting the Filipino tradition of "Bayanihan" during his visit to Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo on August 12. Photo by Ssg Amable Milay Jr. PAF (PAO AFP)

Murder case vs Pemberton at risk of being downgraded to homicide

Aug 03, 2015 - 7:15 PM

Very vital evidence on the murder case against US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was not admitted by the local court trying him a prosecutor says

US marine's turn to present evidence in Laude murder trial

Aug 03, 2015 - 9:24 AM

There are 17 more expected trial dates for the defense to present all counterevidence in the murder trial of transgender Filipina Jennifer Laude

MUGSHOT. A handout photo dated 19 December 2014 released on 21 December 2014 by the Olongapo City Police Public Information Office (PIO) shows US Marine Private First Class Joseph Pemberton at the Olongapo police station in Olongapo city, north of Manila, Philippines. Photo from EPA/PNP OLONGAPO-PIO

PH pushes for Japanese arms in face of China dispute

Jun 26, 2015 - 5:19 AM

The Philippines conducts naval exercises with Japan and is now pushing for an agreement to allow large scale joint military exercises

PH: Naval drills with Japan OK despite no VFA

Jun 24, 2015 - 9:45 PM

The Philippine government doesn t expect to ratify a Visiting Forces Agreement with Japan before President Benigno Aquino III steps down from office

PHILIPPINES' ALLIES. Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel walk next to P3C patrol planes at the Puerto Princesa airport on the island of Palawan, western Philippines, on June 23, 2015. Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA

Philippines defends proposed VFA with ex-invader Japan

Jun 24, 2015 - 8:46 PM

While critics cite Japan s atrocities in the Philippines during World War II Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says Filipinos should not remain stuck in the past

NAVAL DRILLS. A Japanese maritime self-defense force officer signals a P3C patrol plane at the Puerto Princesa airport on the island of Palawan, western Philippines, on June 24, 2015. The Philippines is holding separate naval drills with the US and Japan near the disputed South China Sea. Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA

MOA allows historic PH-Japan maritime exercises

Jun 23, 2015 - 9:53 PM

21 officers from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and 15 from the Philippine Navy hold a joint search and rescue operation off Palawan

HISTORIC FLIGHT. Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Philippine Navy conduct first flight together over the South China Sea

'Foreign alliances important in sea row with China'

Jun 13, 2015 - 11:13 AM

Chanting China go away an estimated 400 people from various groups converge in front of the Chinese embassy in Makati City to protest its reclamation in the South China Sea

ANTI-CHINA RALLY. Civil society groups converge in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City to protest China's reclamation in the South China Sea on June 12, 2015. Photo by Janelle Paris/Rappler

PH, Japan to begin VFA talks

Jun 05, 2015 - 1:38 PM

It will be a treaty not an executive agreement that will require Senate ratification says President Benigno Aquino III

PH-JAPAN TIES. President Benigno S. Aquino III (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Akasaka State Guest on June 4, 2015. Photo by Ryan Lim/Malacañang Photo Bureau

Laude camp to SC: Order Pemberton's move to Olongapo jail

Apr 16, 2015 - 7:00 PM

The sisters of slain Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude want the US soldier s transfer from a Philippine military camp to the Olongapo City Jail

MUGSHOT. A handout photo dated 19 December 2014 released on 21 December 2014 by the Olongapo City Police Public Information Office (PIO) shows US Marine Private First Class Joseph Pemberton at the Olongapo police station in Olongapo city, north of Manila, Philippines. Photo from EPA/PNP OLONGAPO-PIO

Sex at sea: Fil-Am US Navy officer guilty of procuring prostitutes

Apr 11, 2015 - 6:10 PM

(UPDATED) The US Justice Department's warning against hiring sex workers comes after a string of sex trade scandals involving federal agents and military personnel

Laude kin: Replace state prosecutor in Pemberton trial

Mar 23, 2015 - 6:37 PM

On the first day of the murder trial Olongapo Prosecutor Emelie Fe delos Santos falls short of confirming the P21 M offer to let Pemberton plead guilty to a lesser offense

Julita Laude, mother of slain transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, shows the letter they will submit to DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima requesting to replace Olongapo City Chief prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos on the Laude-Pemberton case as they arrive at the Department of Justice in Manila on Monday.

Court enters 'not guilty' plea for Pemberton

Feb 23, 2015 - 10:27 AM

UPDATED The American soldier refuses to enter a plea for the murder case against him during his arraignment at the Olongapo court so the court enters a not guilty plea

FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton appears in an Olongapo court over the alleged murder of transgender Filipino Jennifer Laude on December 19, 2014. Photo courtesy of Marilou Laude

DOJ clears way for Pemberton's murder trial

Feb 20, 2015 - 9:03 PM

The Department of Justice resolution clears a potential impediment to US Lance Corporal Joseph Pemberton s arraignment before an Olongapo trial court scheduled on February 23

DOJ: Pemberton trial for murder may proceed

Jan 27, 2015 - 4:37 PM

After a review of the case as requested by suspect Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton the justice department finds all the elements of murder satisfied

FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE. US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton appears in an Olongapo court over the alleged murder of transgender Filipino Jennifer Laude on December 19, 2014.  Photo by Marilou Laude

Top US envoy for East Asia in Manila for PH-US talks

Jan 20, 2015 - 7:54 PM

US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel is in Manila for bilateral talks likely to touch on the South China Sea dispute

PH-US DIALOGUE. America's top diplomat for East Asia Daniel Russel is in Manila for talks likely to touch on China and Manila's military agreements with Washington. File photo courtesy: Yonhap/EPA

Pemberton appears in Olongapo court

Dec 19, 2014 - 9:36 AM

UPDATED US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton undergoes booking procedure that enables the Olongapo Regional Trial Court RTC Branch 74 to gain jurisdiction over the serviceman but is not arraigned yet

US Marine to appear before Olongapo court

Dec 18, 2014 - 11:10 PM

The routine booking procedure requires the presence of Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton who is accused of murdering a Filipino transgender woman before the court on Friday morning December 19

MURDER CASE: The arraignment of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is scheduled on Friday, December 19

Amend Pemberton arrest warrant, Laude camp asks court

Dec 18, 2014 - 6:11 PM

The Laude camp says the arrest warrant is addressed to the DFA subjecting its implementation to the department s interpretation of the legal circumstances of the US marine

PH won’t fight for Pemberton custody

Dec 18, 2014 - 3:58 PM

Philippine foreign affairs spokesperson Charles Jose says We will not request anymore We will just wait for the court’s advice on when the trial will start

THAT'S IT. Philippine Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose says Manila will no longer insist on getting custody over Joseph Scott Pemberton. Photo by Ayee Macaraig/Rappler

US denies PH request for custody over marine

Dec 17, 2014 - 5:54 PM

UPDATED The Philippines says it is disappointed that the US refuses to waive custody over Pemberton accused of killing Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude

REQUEST DENIED. The US Embassy in Manila says it will retain custody over Pemberton, denying the Philippine government's request. File photo

Arrest warrant out for US marine over Laude slay

Dec 16, 2014 - 6:31 PM

The Philippine foreign affairs department says it will now seek custody over the US Marine who is detained at the Philippine military headquarters under US custody

Murder case filed vs US marine over Laude slay

Dec 15, 2014 - 3:24 PM

It s a capital offense so there will be no bail the prosecutor says after filing a murder case against the US marine accused of killing a transgender Filipina

OLONGAPO MURDER. CCTV footage shows the victim, Jennifer Laude, and the suspect, US Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, before the crime allegedly happened in a motel in Olongapo City.

SolGen: EDCA no guarantee US will aid PH in sea dispute

Nov 25, 2014 - 5:52 PM

While the focus of the legal battle has been whether EDCA needs Senate ratification Supreme Court justices have grilled petitioners and Acting Solicitor General Florin Hilbay about the benefits of EDCA

ORAL ARGUMENTS ON EDCA: Acting Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and Anti-EDCA petitioner former Senator Rene Saguisag. Rappler photo

SC denies Laude kin's intervention in EDCA case

Nov 18, 2014 - 7:20 PM

The High Court says the petition to intervene that Jennifer Laude s mother and sisters filed contains sensitive evidence that might prejudice the murder case over her slay

Elite PH, US units launch joint exercises in Basilan

Nov 07, 2014 - 12:09 PM

Balance Piston is launched at the headquarters of the 4th Special Forces Battalion in Basilan and will run until November 26

SPECIAL OPERATION: Balance Piston is a regular training exercise between special units of the US and Philippine armies. Photo by Richard Falcatan/Rappler

Scrap VFA? It's part of PH 'defense strategy'

Oct 28, 2014 - 4:14 PM

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement will have an adverse effect on the country s defense posture

BALIKATAN: Thousands of American troops come to the Philippines every year for regular military exercises. Rappler photo

US Marine says no basis for Laude murder charge

Oct 27, 2014 - 5:35 PM

If prosecutors elevate the case to court US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton asks that the murder charge be reduced to homicide says his lawyer

DETAINED. The Philippines gets custody of the US Marine who is accused of killing transgender Filipino woman Jennifer Laude. File photo

Miriam Santiago, Bello push for VFA termination

Oct 27, 2014 - 5:04 PM

But most lawmakers as well as the President are more inclined to review the PH US agreement than end it

AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP: US Navy's USS Peleliu. Photo from the US Embassy in Manila

Stopping Sueselbeck's departure is 'due process' - De Lima

Oct 27, 2014 - 4:26 PM

The justice department has to determine if Sueselbeck would be put in the immigration black list

MARC SUESELBECK. Photo by Jedwin M. Llobrera

#AnimatED: Murder tests PH-US military ties, calls for tight balancing act

Oct 27, 2014 - 7:30 AM

Justice should be served – the courts should conduct a fair trial without any hint of special treatment for Pemberton – and our long term security interest be upheld

Jennifer Laude, symbol of 'oppressed' nation, laid to rest

Oct 24, 2014 - 5:22 PM

Laude s fiancé Marc Sueselbeck mother Julita stepfather Franco Cabillan sisters Michelle and Marilou lead the funeral procession

Not a good time to review VFA, says US envoy

Oct 24, 2014 - 1:36 PM

UPDATED Ambassador Philip Goldberg says the United States is always open to talking about these issues but this shouldn’t be done in the middle of the debate over the custody of a US Marine suspected of killing a Filipino

Philippines reviewing unclear provisions in VFA

Oct 23, 2014 - 8:49 PM

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima clarifies that while the Philippines is moving to clarify guidelines in implementing the military agreement with the US it isn t necessarily open to amending the treaty

VFA STAYS. President Benigno Aquino III says he will not abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) of the Philippines with the United States. Malacañang Photo Bureau