Lacson says gov’t scrapping VFA ‘for wrong reasons’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson said on Monday that the government’s plan to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States is being done “for the wrong reason.”
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the termination of the VFA just a day after Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa confirmed last week that his visa had been canceled by the US.
“I will be very blunt na it’s for the wrong reason,” Lacson said in an interview at the Senate.
“Of course they are trying to rectify that by saying na yan lang ang parang finally nag-break ng camel’s back, so to speak. Pero kung yun lang talaga ang reason, I don’t see the proportionateness noong stake. Kasi initially that was the only reason advanced by the President, kung hindi i-correct, he threatened to abrogate,” he said.
(Of course they are trying to rectify by saying that that finally broke the camel’s back, so to speak. But if that’s really the reason, I don’t see if it’s proportionate with what’s at stake. Because initially, that was the only reason advanced by the President, that he will abrogate the agreement if the US will not correct.)
The senator noted Duterte’s initial statement that he would terminate the VFA if the US would not correct its cancelation of Dela Rosa’s visa.
The President has given the US government only one month to rectify the visa cancellation.
The US has yet to respond to Duterte’s threat.
“I think they are still processing kung ano ang mga implications. And it’s not as if, of course it is a no-brainer they are already studying their options kung ano magiging next move nila (what would be their next move),” he said
“But I think there are quiet attempts to maski papaano, ma-obviate yung ganitong situation (somehow obviate this kind of situation),” the senator added.
Lacson, however, pointed out that most of the provisions in the VFA would benefit the US.
In terms of security, the agreement would be more beneficial to the Philippines.
Lacson earlier on Twitter called out Duterte for terminating the bilateral agreement over a canceled visa, saying such a decision is “unfortunate and unnecessary.”
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