It is just a matter of time when the issue concerning the much celebrated trial of Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith will be the penultimate stumbling block towards the ties between the United States and the Philippines. There is a conflict of interest with regards to the custody of Lance Cpl. Smith where under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the Unites States, custody should be handed down to the US. But following the decision handed down by the Makati Regional Trial Court, Smith is still being detained at the Makati City Jail and this has been a cause for concern with the US navyment in particular
The impact of this issue has so far gone as far as canceling some aids and the US-RP Balikatan exercises. There has been mounting concern with regards to the safety of the US troops in the Philippines and until the issue with Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith is settled, everything will stay on air.
For the record, Daniel Smith was found guilty by the Makati Regional Trial Court for raping a Filipina in Subic, Philippines and has since been tagged as the Subic Rape Case. This setback has been considered a big blow in the growing relationship between the US and the Philippines and until this issue is laid to rest, there is no clear view of what to expect between the two countries as of to date.
Originally posted on December 23, 2006 @ 12:22 am