Impulsive! Solon bucks Duterte’s ‘unilateral decision’ to end VFA
MANILA, Philippines — A party-list lawmaker on Wednesday filed a resolution opposing the unilateral decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), saying the move was an “impulsive decision.”
Magdalo Rep. Manuel Cabochan III filed House Resolution No. 676 after Duterte threatened to scrap the VFA if the United States will not “rectify” the revocation of Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s visa.
While recognizing that VFA may have “contentious” terms, Cabochan said that the agreement has helped the Philippines in terms of ensuring the security of Filipinos.
“The impulsive decision to abrogate VFA based merely on personal motivations will compromise the long withstanding and cordial diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the US,” Cabochan said in the resolution.
Cabochan added that the agreement has also helped the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in upgrading its military capability.
“Through the VFA, the AFP has also acquired critical intelligence from its US counterparts which have been useful in our counterterrorism efforts,” the lawmaker said.
“In view of the many security threats that the Philippines is facing at present, the VFA continues to contribute in addressing the vulnerabilities of our national security,” he added.
Cabochan requested a copy of his resolution be sent to the Office of the President, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of National Defense, and the Secretary of Justice.
The PH-US agreement took effect in 1999 and covers the conduct of visiting American soldiers in the Philippines and serves as a foundation for military exercises between the Philippines and the US.
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