Panelo: Official document on VFA termination needed | Inquirer News
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Panelo: Official document on VFA termination needed

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 12:19 PM February 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The document which orders the country’s top diplomat to notify the United States on the official termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) could be available by Monday, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Sunday.

“Kailangan mo siyempre ‘yun, may executive document or rather in writing ‘yung instruction sa opisyal mo. Hindi naman pwedeng verbal-verbal lang,” Panelo said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.

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(Of course you need that — an executive document or rather in writing on your instruction for a government official. It doesn’t mean you need to just instruct it verbally.)

“Antayin natin na dumating ng Monday, bukas pagdating ng Presidente (Let’s wait on Monday, tomorrow when the President returns),” he added.

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The Palace official explained that the document is still unavailable as government offices ar-e closed during the weekends while President Rodrigo Duterte is still in Davao City.

This contradicts Duterte’s previous verbal orders such as the ban on use and importation of e-cigarettes.  Even without the necessary papers, the Philippine National Police implemented the ban upon the verbal orders of the Chief Executive.

To recall, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea disclosed Saturday that he has yet to receive Duterte’s official instruction to direct Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to notify the US that the Philippines will abrogate the agreement which allows US military presence in the Philippines.

Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana also affirmed that Duterte has yet to send a document to Medialdea regarding the VFA termination.

Duterte had threatened to discontinue the agreement after the US visa of Sen. Ronald dela Rosa was revoked.

Senate not prohibited from reviewing VFA

Asked if the Senate’s review on the agreement is still useful despite Duterte’s decision to terminate the VFA, Panelo said senators’ recommendations may still help.

“Kung inabrogate mo tas nireview nila [Senate] o meron silang recommendation na halimbawa tama ‘yun kasi dapat ganito gawin natin, edi nakatulong sila,” the presidential spokesman said.

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(If you abrogate the VFA, then the Senate will review it and give recommendations, then that could still help.)

Senator Koko Pimentel, chair of Senate panel on foreign relations, said they will still continue their review because a resolution is pending on the study of the implications on the termination of VFA.

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TAGS: document, Nation, Salvador Panelo, Visiting Forces Agreement
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