On 5 US Marines Accused of Rape by a Filipina in Subic
'Local laws must apply'
Sen. Richard Gordon said the Philippines "did not give away part of our sovereignty" when the government signed the VFA.
"The subject matter here is an alleged criminal offense punishable under our laws and committed within Philippine territory. Definitely, the Philippines has jurisdiction, especially so when the offense occurred when the US military personnel was off-duty," he said.
By Paolo Romero
"Government vows justice for rape victim"
The Philippine Star 11/05/2005
Said Sen. Richard Gordon, a member of the oversight committee on the VFA, in an interview:
"These things will happen when you have military officers. It happened in Okinawa; it happened here years ago. But when it happens to an ally, it's a letdown to the principles upon which the VFA was made.
"It disturbs the focus of mutual cooperation for security," he added, stressing that the VFA was aimed at promoting the common security interests of both countries as well as strengthening security in the Asia-Pacific region.
By Allan Macatuno, Patrick Roxas, Volt Contreras
"Raped girl no sex worker College grad from Zambo was only visiting Subic"
Inquirer News Service November 5, 2005
Sen. Richard Gordon defended the VFA, saying it is not meant to favor US military personnel.
"The VFA promotes the common security interests of the Philippines and the US to strengthen international and regional security in the Pacific," said Gordon, former chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and a staunch US ally.
He is confident that the Marines if found guilty will be convicted accordingly.
"I recall that in 1984, when I was still the mayor of Olongapo, a US serviceman was proven to have killed a Filipino. The suspect was sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment and ordered to indemnify the son of the victim," he said.
The Philippines can indeed exercise jurisdiction over offenses committed by US military personnel in its territory, Gordon said. Definitely the Philippines has jurisdiction, especially if the offense occurred when the US servicemen were off-duty.
By Patricia Esteves, Efren L. Danao, Maricel V. Cruz
"Alleged rape triggers widespread outrage"
Saturday, November 05, 2005