Cabinet members, military ‘have reservations, apprehensions’ over VFA abrogation – Lacson

Cabinet members, military ‘have reservations, apprehensions’ over VFA abrogation – Lacson

27.2.2020

Cabinet members, military ‘have reservations, apprehensions’ over VFA abrogation – Lacson

A good number of Cabinet members and military officers have reservations or apprehensions on the unilateral abrogation by the Philippines of the 21-year-old PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). This was revealed on Thursday by Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security Committee, during a Senate media forum, ‘’Kapihan sa Senado,’’ where he also expounded on issues surrounding the ABS-CBN franchise renewal and the Anti-Terror bill.

February 27, 2020, 3:02 PM By Mario Casayuran A good number of Cabinet members and military officers have reservations or apprehensions on the unilateral abrogation by the Philippines of the 21-year-old PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). This was revealed on Thursday by Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security Committee, during a Senate media forum, ‘’Kapihan sa Senado,’’ where he also expounded on issues surrounding the ABS-CBN franchise renewal and the Anti-Terror bill. Sen. Panfilo Lacson (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN) With the VFA abrogation, critics openly said that there is an apparent pro-China and pro-Russia tilt in President Duterte’s foreign policy. Asked about the number of Cabinet members, Lacson replied: ‘’Medyo marami rin. Baka mamaya tatanungin nyo na ang pangalan.) There are many. You would later ask me for their names.) Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said the views of the Cabinet members were aired to him informally than formally. The effectivity of the 180-day VFA termination period is on August 9. Lacson said there may be developments that may prevent the formal termination of the treaty from taking place. ‘’Remember there’s a pending petition in the Supreme Court but this concerns another issue, ang withdrawal from the ICC (International Criminal Court). It’s still pending in court. And the Senate President and several senators are planning to also file a similar petition, but now involving the abrogation of VFA,’’ he pointed out. ‘’Assuming, without preempting, if the Supreme Court decides in favor of the petitioners, ang mangyayari riyan (What will happen is that), hindi ba ang ratification would need a two thirds (2/3) supermajority vote of the Senate? Kung mag-rule in favor of the petitioners, kailangan din ng 2/3 vote pag withdraw,’’ he said (There is still a two thirds vote to withdraw.) There are 24 members of the Senate but detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima could not physically vote. ‘’So nothing is final if that happens. The ball will be in the hands of the senators, at least 2/3 or 16 of us,’’ he added. As to when would the Senate would file a petition before the Supreme Court that a Senate concurrence is needed when a treaty is to be abrogated, Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said: As soon as we have it (the sense of the Senate resolution that the termination of treaties needs Senate concurrence).’’ ‘’We have to have the Senate as a petitioner, not just individual senator. Of course it will not change the legal issues, but it is better that it is the Senate as an institution which will bring the issue to the Supreme Court,’’ Drilon added. Lacson said that he has talked to the Senate President Wednesday night on the petition. ‘’I think next week. Fina-finalize (the petition is being finalized). And next week, ifa-file yan. We’re not sure yet who among the senators will sign the petition as co-petitioners,’’ he added. Lacson explained that in his talks with the Cabinet members, they were hesitant in saying that the decision to unilaterally abrogate the VFA is a mistake because the Philippines has not prepared for it. Lacson cited many tangible and intangible benefits that the Philippines gets from the US through the country’s military agreements such as the VFA. ‘’That, pati (plus) the fact we’ve been receiving military aid and assistance from the US, ang (the) count as of 1998 parang nasa (about) $1.3 billion,’’ he said. ‘’And since 2016, when PRRD (President Duterte) and President Trump came into power, $900 million na ang nakukuhang benefits. Hindi lahat yan aid or assistance, meron din financing,’’ ($900 million in benefits had been received. There are other forms of aid or assistance. There is also financing.) Lacson pointed out that about 52 percent of the entire military assistance and financing from the US in the Asia-Pacific region went to the Philippines. ‘’This is not counting the technical intelligence sharing provided by the US, both ways, kasi tayo nagpo-provide ng information sa kanila about terrorism, drug interdiction. The whole gamut of benefits derived from VFA, MDT, and other similar treaties, nakapanghinayang lang,’’ he added. (We also provide information to the US on terrorism, drug interdiction. The whole gamut of benefits derived from the VFA and the Mutual Defense Treaty and other treaties. It is a pity to let these go.) Related Posts Read more: Manila Bulletin News

Several Cabinet officials against VFA abrogation, says LacsonSenator Panfilo Lacson claimed several members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s official Cabinet were apprehensive, if not totally against abrogating the VFA with the United States. | MAgerINQ MAgerINQ VFA is dead, move forward! MAgerINQ Anyone with common sense would be.

Lacson: Several Cabinet officials against junking VFA'We talked to several Cabinet members... they are actually against the abrogation,' Senator Ping Lacson says. iampinglacson is doing it again. Hahaha, old habits...or already a character? Just asking.

Senators to file SC petition to assert right in VFA abrogation next week: Lacson

Duterte insists VFA repeal not a ‘knee-jerk reaction’'I am the most deliberate. That’s why I’m awake until 6 o’clock, just thinking of what I have to do,' says President Duterte. Malamang 6 o'clock ng hapon. 🤡🤡🤡 Guys gising sya, nasa loob lang talaga ng kulambo 😂

Duterte on VFA abrogation: PH can handle its own problemsPresident Duterte is confident that the country will survive as a nation and will be able to solve its own problems without relying on anyone, particularly the United States. Classic case of Dunning-Kruger effect!

Lacson: Several Cabinet officials against junking VFA'We talked to several Cabinet members... they are actually against the abrogation,' Senator Ping Lacson says. iampinglacson is doing it again. Hahaha, old habits...or already a character? Just asking.



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