Palace sees ‘warmer’ PH-US ties after VFA termination
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is seeing “warmer ties” between the Philippines and the United States as it hopes Washington will give “preferential attention” to Manila following the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The Philippine government has officially terminated its 20-year-old military pact with the world superpower.
“It remains warm, hopefully, it would be warmer,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters during a press conference Tuesday when asked about the footing of the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the US now that Manila has formalized its abrogation of VFA.
According to Panelo, Washington tends to exert effort in wooing back allies that have shown proclivity in breaking away with its hold.
“I’ve been noticing that those who’ve been criticizing the US government policies have been given the preferential attention by the US government. ‘Pag nababanatan sila, sinusuyo nila (When they are being criticized, they tend to court you back),” Panelo said.
Duterte ordered the termination of the military pact after the US canceled the visa of his longtime confidant, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who has also led his bloody war on drugs while chief of nation’s police force.
On Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs formally sent the notice to terminate the VFA to the US government.
In a tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. confirmed that the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy has already received the notice of termination.
The VFA accorded legal status to US troops who were rotated in the country for military exercises and humanitarian assistance operations.
Edited by KGA
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