My Critic

Topics: United States, Federal government of the United States, Philippines Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: October 12, 2013
A Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is an agreement between a country and a foreign nation having military forces visiting in that country. Visiting forces agreements are similar in intent to Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs). A VFA typically covers forces visiting temporarily, while a SOFA typically covers forces based in the host nation as well as visiting forces. In many host nations, the VFA can become a major political issue following crimes allegedly committed by visiting service members. This is especially true when the incidents involve severe crimes, such as robbery, murder, manslaughter or sex crimes, especially when the charge is defined differently between the two nations. For example, the RP-US Agreement. The RP–US Visiting Forces Agreement is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States consisting of two separate agreement documents. The first of these documents is commonly referred to as "the VFA" or "VFA-1",and the second as "VFA-2" or "the Counterpart Agreement". Both documents became effective on May 27, 1999, upon ratification by the Philippine Senate. The United States government regards these documents as Executive Agreements not requiring approval by the U.S. Senate. The term "VFA" is usually used in the Philippines to refer specifically to just the first of these two documents, which has been the subject of continuing controversy in the Philippines. The VFA-1 had an effect in the country. The primary effect of the Agreement is that it allows the U.S. government to retain jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines, unless the crimes are of "particular" importance to the Philippines. This means that for crimes without this significance, the U.S. can refuse to detain or arrest accused personnel, or may instead prosecute them under U.S. jurisdiction. The Agreement also exempts U.S. military personnel from visa and passport regulations in the Philippines. The Agreement...
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