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Legarda Wants Immediate Action on Alleged Waste Dumping Incident in Subic by a US Navy Contractor

November 8, 2012

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA, CHAIR OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, TODAY SAID THAT THE ALLEGED WASTE DUMPING INCIDENT IN SUBIC BY A US NAVY CONTRACTOR REQUIRES IMMEDIATE ATTENTION AND ACTION, STRESSING THAT THE VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT (VFA) CANNOT BE USED AS A DEFENSE IN SUCH AN INCIDENT.
“The VFA is a framework for promoting the common security interests of the Philippines and the United States of America by strengthening our bilateral defense partnership. It is not a treaty we have entered into with the United States so that their contractors can wantonly violate the country’s environmental laws,” said Legarda, Co-Chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA (LOVFA).
The Senator noted that the contractor, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, Philippines, is neither a part of the US personnel, nor is it a part of the civilian personnel contemplated in the VFA. Glenn Defense Marine Asia Philippines is a contractor whose status in the Philippines is clearly within the bounds of our laws.
“It is shameless for their contractor to hide beneath the VFA and raise jurisdictional issues. There is no jurisdictional issue as far as this case is concerned,” she said.
“If it is indeed established that they violated our environmental laws, they should be made to answer, and penalties need to be imposed to the fullest extent of the law,” she added.
Legarda said that the VFA Commission is mandated to coordinate with the Legislative Oversight Committee in ensuring that the implementation of the VFA continues to serve national interest.
“Clearly, the incident did not serve national interest at all. We shall require a report on this incident and demand immediate action against all those involved in violating our laws. It is time we revisit the VFA not because of this incident, but because it is a long-overdue exercise that is vital to forging deeper and stronger relations with our treaty partner,” Legarda concluded.