Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio (left), House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Speaker’s office)
The proposed Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) between Japan and the Philippines–bascially the two nations’ version of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)–won’t lead to cases of abuse against Filipinos.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez gave this assurance Saturday, Nov. 4 shortly after the special joint session of Congress that was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.
Romualdez was asked in a chance interview to respond to concerns that the proposed RAA might cause abuse against his countrymen, especially women.
“Ay hindi po naman, kasi syempre naman nakikita po natin na, now in this day and age, mass media, technology, social media, napaka-sensitive naman tayo dito sa mga issue na ganito,” the House leader answered.
(That won’t be the case, because of course we’re aware that in this day and age, mass media, technology, social media, we are very sensitive to those issues.)
“Yung mga karanasan noong nakaraan ay syempre natuto na rin tayo. At dito naman talaga, nakikita po natin yung respeto na binibigay natin, hindi lang sa ating mga kababaihan pero sa kapwa nating Pilipino,” stressed Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party.
(We have learned from our experiences in the past. The respect that we give not only to our women, but to our fellow Filipinos, is plain to see.)
“Lalo na sa mga relasyon natin sa dayuhan, mga magbibisita sa atin dito. Kaya very, very, mataas yung kumpiyansa natin na magiging smooth ang relasyon nating ito sa RAA,” he further said.
(This is especially true with our relations to foreigners, those who visit us. That’s why we have very, very high confidence that our relations with RAA will be very smooth.)
The RAA, which needs the approval of Philippine Congress, is the Philippine-Japan equivalent to the VFA of the Philippines and the United States (US). It will give legal cover for the holding of military exercises and other security activities between the two countries.
Japan already has similar arrangements with Australia and the United Kingdom.
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