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•      On the whole, both the majority and dissenting opinions uphold Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction over criminally errant American soldiers in the Philippines, and fortifies the feminist movement in the country.

•      Both the majority and dissenting opinions sustain the position that pending Smith’s appeal before the Court of Appeals from his conviction by the RTC of Makati, he should be confined in a facility under Philippine authorities. The difference is that the majority decision holds in abeyance the transfer of Smith from the US Embassy to a Philippine penitentiary or detention center pending renegotiation of the Romulo-Kenney agreement placing Smith under American authorities in the US Embassy. The order for renegotiation gives recognition to the VFA provision that the choice of the detention facility under Philippine authorities should be agreed upon by appropriate Philippine and American representatives. On the other hand, the minority decision orders the immediate transfer of Smith to the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

•     The majority decision does not impose a deadline on when the renegotiation should be started and completed, although it orders that the renegotiation be done “forthwith”. In reality, the eventual transfer of Smith can be expeditious or sluggish depending on the contingencies and exigencies of diplomacy.

•      Another major difference is that the majority decision upholds the constitutionality of the VFA as an implementation of the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty. The minority decision strikes down the VFA as unconstitutional because while the Philippines, through the Senate, ratified it as a treaty, the United States does not accord it the status of a treaty. I agree with Chief Justice Reynato Puno that it is lamentable that it is the Philippines itself which derogates its parity as a sovereign state with the United States.