Palace: Duterte’s stance to junk VFA ‘unchanged’

first_imgThe Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday said that President Duterte has ordered the six month suspension on the Philippines’ abrogation of VFA with the United States due to the coronavirus disease pandemic.Earlier this year, President Duterte ordered the abrogation of the VFA after the US revoked the visa of former Philippine National Police chief and now senator, Ronald Dela Rosa.Meanwhile, Philippines ambassador to US Jose Romualdez said that the six-month delay in termination of VFA was “well received” by the American government.“Right now, we all know that here in Washington D.C. it was very well received,” Romualdez said in an interview with CNN Philippines. “One thing for sure, that the effect of that, of course, is extremely good and very high especially with U.S. businesses.”The VFA governs the treatment of US servicemen in military units and defense personnel who are in the Philippine territory for short periods for joint military exercises approved by both the Philippine and US governments.It entered into force on May 27, 1999 – eight years after the closure of US military bases in the Philippines in 1991. It was negotiated and signed during the time of President Fidel V. Ramos and ratified during President Joseph Estrada’s time.Over the years, the US military also assisted the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating extremist groups by providing technical assistance and enemy surveillance to Filipino troops battling the militants./PN MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand on the Philippines’ termination of its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States has not changed, Malacañang said Thursday.According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, President Duterte remains firm in his stand to end the VFA, which governs the conduct of visiting US personnel holding military exercises in the Philippines.“Ang nasuspend lang po ay ‘yung termination ng VFA, wala naman pong bagong desisyon ang Presidente,” Roque said in a virtual press conference from Davao City.last_img