WE THOUGHT that our Philippine Constitution classes were clear enough for the common tao. Article II, Sec. 7 states that "The State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states, the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination."
However, it looks like our government, represented by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, does not understand this very simple principle. They think that the Visiting Forces Agreement is over and above the Philippine Constitution.
Gonzalez had no right to scold Judge Benjamin Pozon over the media when the latter refused to turn over rape convict L/Cpl. Daniel Smith to US custody. We're sure that Gonzalez does not even understand the logic and principles on which Judge Pozon based his decision.
It is really a shame to have a government that cares more about its relationship with a foreign country than its relationship with its own people. Because of the Subic rape case custody issue, the Filipino people will all the more realize how they are being deprived of justice and law.
Again, we have no one else to blame but Secretary Gonzalez and the person he represents. His "lawyering" for an American rape convict is a classic act of subservience to foreign rule.
But if there is subservience from the puppet government, we thank that there is also strong resistance from the people. We thank Judge Pozon. We thank Nicole. We thank the multitude of Filipinos who continue to defy the US demand, in the name of sovereignty, independence and national dignity.
--MARCO M. DELOS REYES, national president, National Union of Students of the Philippines, via e-mail