The main effect of the agreement is to require the U.S. government to notify the Philippine authorities when it is aware of the arrest, arrest or detention of Filipino personnel visiting the United States and, at the request of the Philippine government, to invite the competent authorities to exercise jurisdiction on behalf of the Philippines, except in cases of particular interest to the State Department or the Secretary of Defense.  [VIII1] The waiver of U.S. jurisdiction is complicated because the United States is a federation of American states and therefore a federation of jurisdictions. The United States has used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under U.S. jurisdiction.  On January 18, 2006, the U.S. Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court.  They were detained by U.S. officials at the U.S.
Embassy in Manila. This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country.   As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006.   However, the agreement has not been amended. The Philippines-U.S. Visiting Agreement, sometimes the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which consists of two separate documents. The first of these documents is commonly referred to as “VFA” or “VFA-1″ and the second is referred to as “VFA-2” or “counterparty agreement.”  A Visiting Forces Agreement is a version of an agreement on the status of the armed forces that applies only to troops temporarily stationed in a country.
The agreements entered into force on 27 May 1999, after ratification by the Philippine Senate.    The U.S. government considers these documents to be executive agreements that do not require the approval of the U.S. Senate.   What is this agreement and why is this agreement so important to the United States? Here`s what you need to know. The end of the VFA would leave the U.S. military in the Philippines, without any legal or operational reputation – and that`s a problem for the Alliance. Without a VFA, the U.S.
military would not be able to support any of these defense agreements.