Majority of senators not in favor of scrapping VFA — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Saturday said a majority of senators have expressed their disapproval of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.
“I’m not sure of the number, but (a) majority of the members of the Senate are not in favor of the abrogation. That is my sense,” Sotto said during the weekly In Focus Forum in Quezon City.
“As I said earlier, most of them know that the (mutual defense treaty), the (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) EDCA and the anti-terrorism and anti-cybercrime and cybersecurity relationship with the United States might be in peril,” Sotto further explained why the Senate members opposed.
“Unless we will be able to come up with a better solution, majority of us, I believe, I’m not sure of the exact number, so when I say majority, perhaps 12 or more are not in favor of the abrogation,” he added.
It was on Feb. 11 that the Philippines officially sent the notice to terminate the VFA with the United States.
However, Sotto said that he and the other Senate leaders will contest the abrogation of the VFA before the Supreme Court without the concurrence of the upper chamber.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson also earlier bared that some members of the Cabinet were openly against the VFA termination.
Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, refuted Lacson, saying that all Cabinet members are in support of the President’s decision.
Asked about this, Sotto said: “As far as the opinions of Senator Lacson and Secretary Panelo are concerned, I’ve heard the same concerns from the Cabinet members themselves, so I agree with Senator Lacson.”
Edited by MUF
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