Senator Imee Marcos said the Philippines could lose custody of U.S. Marine Corps lance corporal and homicide convict Joseph Scott Pemberton if the government cancels the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The Ilocos Norte politiko made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to scrap the VFA.
Duterte’s threat was in reaction to the United States cancelling Senator Ronald de la Rosa’s visa for his role in the government’s bloody war on drugs.
“Baka matuwa pa nga ang U.S. pag nawala na ang VFA kasi pwede pa rin naman pumasok ang mga tropang Amerikano sa bansa natin dahil sa Mutual Defense Treaty at EDCA, pero wala nang hawak ang Pilipinas sa mga kasong kriminal kung mangyari man,” Marcos said.
“Kung walang VFA, babalik tayo sa international law at batas ng bansa kung saan galing ang mga tropang dayuhan ang mangingibabaw,” she explained.
Pemberton is currently detained at Camp Aguinaldo.
The American was convicted and sentenced to six to 12 years in prison for the 2014 killing of transgender Jennifer Laude.