No backdoor talks for VFA’s retention, says envoy | Inquirer News
Close  
PH-US TROOP DEAL

No backdoor talks for VFA’s retention, says envoy

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 04:34 AM June 23, 2021

Jose Manuel Romualdez
—US EMBASSY PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez on Tuesday expressed optimism that Manila and Washington would come out with mutually agreeable terms so that the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) would be extended.

Speaking during the press briefing of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Romualdez denied there were ongoing “backdoor” negotiations to save the treaty, adding that panels from both sides have concluded joint consultations.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’ve had, I wouldn’t really call it negotiation but clarifications on terms of agreement, which was completed,” he said.

“The report saying that there are backdoor negotiations, that’s not true because we in the Department of Foreign Affairs are very open,” he added.

FEATURED STORIES

Saying the VFA benefits the Philippines’ Armed Forces, Romualdez expressed optimism that the treaty would be eventually renewed following the President’s decision to delay the abrogation of the agreement for the third time.

‘Mutually beneficial’

“I’m one of those who believe that it’s really important for us because it’s mutually beneficial … To be honest about it, the VFA, I think, has benefited our military, which [Defense] Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana has confirmed on several occasions,” he said.

Romualdez said the Americans were “very happy” about the extension of the abrogation period for six more months.

“So, we’re hoping that this will continue and of course the US government, especially the US military establishments, [is] very pleased with this development that the President has extended it for another six months. So, we’re hoping that it would be perhaps better than it ever was in terms of the kind of agreement that we have with them and it will be mutually beneficial for both our militaries,” he said.

Romualdez said the VFA was one of the many aspects of the Philippines’ “special relations” with its former colonial master. INQ

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: backdoor talks, Jose Manuel Romualdez, PH-US relations, Visiting Forces Agreement
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.