President Duterte suspends the abrogation of the VFA for six months
MANILA – Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. said he attended a meeting with Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez and President Rodrigo Duterte early last night.
“The President conveyed to us his decision to extend the suspension of the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) by another six months while he studies and both sides further address his concerns regarding particular aspects of the agreement,” he said in a video message sent to media practitioners shortly before 8:00 P.M., Monday.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said they support President Duterte’s decision to suspend for another six months the termination of the Visiting Force Agreement.
“Our bilateral cooperation with the United States is geared towards upholding our national interest and to the extend necessary to enhance the Philippines’ defense capability,” Secretary Lorenzana said in a statement issued late Monday evening.
He added with the additional six months, they will further review the pros and cons of the VFA especially regarding various concerns of mutual importance to the two countries hoping to help President Duterte arrive at an informed decision on the issue at hand. (Melo M. Acuña)