Drilon: PH-US relations to be weaker after VFA termination
MANILA, Philippines — Ties between the governments of the Philippines and the United States (US) will become weaker once the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) takes effect.
Such was the sentiment of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday, a day after the Philippine government has officially terminated its 20-year-old military pact with the world superpower.
This is contrary to Malacañang’s stand that it is seeing “warmer ties” between the Philippines and the U.S. government as it hopes that Washington will give “preferential attention” to Manila after the VFA termination.
“In general, yung ating relasyon sa pinakamalakas na bansa sa buong mundo, syempre lalabnaw iyan dahilan dito sa pagkansela sa VFA,” Drilon said in an interview over DZRH.
(In general, our relationship with the strongest country in the world will be weaker because of the VFA cancellation.)
He noted that the U.S. has given aid to the Philippines through the said agreement in the form of aid in intelligence activities in Mindanao, disaster relief operations, weapons upgrading and military training.
The VFA, which took effect in 1999, covers the conduct of visiting American soldiers in the Philippines and serves as the foundation for military exercises between the Philippines and the U.S.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has formally sent the notice to terminate the VFA to the U.S. government.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. confirmed that the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy has already received the notice of termination.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of the military pact after the U.S. government canceled the visa of his ally, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who has also led his bloody war on drugs while chief of the country’s police force.
Edited by MUF
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