Duterte’s decision to terminate VFA unchanged—Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to change his mind on the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said this as he noted that the termination was only suspended.
“At yung pagadating naman sa VFA, ang nasuspinde lang naman po ay yung proseso ng termination, wala naman pong bagong desisyon ang Presidente pagdating sa termination,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(On the issue of the VFA, the only thing suspended was the process of termination. There is no new decision from the President when it comes to the termination.)
The Philippine government, upon the President’s orders, sent a notice to the US Embassy of the VFA termination’s suspension, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the President thought it was untimely to end the pact with the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, the Philippines sent a notice to the US Embassy to terminate the VFA, a move that was supposed to take effect in August.
Duterte ordered the termination after the cancellation of former top cop and Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa’s US visa.
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