Marcos sees no need to raise VFA termination with SC
MANILA, Philippines — Neophyte Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday said she is not in favor of questioning the Philippines’ termination of the visiting forces agreement with the United States before the Supreme Court, saying this will only “polarize” an already divided nation.
“Sana pag-usapan na lamang dahil yung hidwaan sa ating lipunan e lalawak at lalawak lang. Kung magdadala pa tayo ng kaso sa Supreme Court, ‘wag na siguro (I hope we can just discuss this, because the disagreement would worsen. But if we should bring this before the Supreme Court, maybe we should not),” Marcos told reporters in an interview.
“It will continue to polarize an already divided public opinion, it will probably be best to get together and think very carefully what would be best for the Philippines with regard to VFA,” she added.
On Tuesday, the Philippines officially sent the notice to terminate the VFA to the US, through Foreign Affairs Teddy Locsin Jr.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier threatened to terminate the VFA over the visa cancelation of his political ally, former top cop and now Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
However, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said they would question the government’s abrogation of the VFA before the Supreme Court.
Said military accord, ratified by the Senate in 1999, governs the conduct of US troops who take part in military exercises in the Philippines.
A resolution earlier filed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon likewise asked the upper chamber to assert its role in treaty termination or withdrawal.
But Marcos, an ally of President Duterte, said the chief executive has the power to direct the country’s foreign policy.
“Suportahan natin ang Presidente. Ang liwa-liwanag ng Saligang Batas na ang foreign policy e talagang diskarte ng pangulo. So kinakailangan pakinggan natin (Let’s support the President. It’s very clear in the Constitution that the country’s foreign policy depends on the President. So we need to listen),” she said.
“Kung kinailangan ang Congress para i-ratify yung VFA, siguro naman kailangan rin para i-abrogate pero tignan natin (If concurrence from Congress is needed to ratify the VFA, then maybe abrogating it would need the same),” Marcos claimed.
Edited by EDV
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