From InterAksyon (Dec 3): NOT JUST VFA | House committee wants to monitor SOFA as well
The foreign affairs committee of the House of Representatives has approved Joint House Resolution No. 37 expanding the scope of the legislative oversight function to cover not just the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US but the Status of Force Agreement with Australia as well. There are several resolutions filed in the House calling for the termination of the VFA on the grounds that the security pact puts the Philippines at a disadvantage.
The VFA allows visits by American forces to conduct joint military exercises and trainings with Philippine forces and is intended to strengthen the bilateral defense partnership under the 1951 RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. It was concurred by the Philippine Senate on May 27, 1999, giving it the force of a treaty, but is considered a mere executive agreement by the US. The SOFA with Australia, on the other hand, was signed on July 24, 2012 in consonance with a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Defense Activities signed August 22, 1995 in Canberra, Australia.
Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano recently filed House Resolution 2888, while Representatives Rufus Rodriguez and Maximo Rodriguez jointly authored House Resolution 2892, both seeking a congressional inquiry into the alleged dumping of toxic waste into Subic Bay by the Malaysian shipping firm, Glenn Defense Marine Philippines. HR 2892 has been referred to the committee on foreign affairs, while HR 2888 was referred to the committee on natural resources and ecology.