MANILA, Philippines — Despite sending a notice of termination of the decades long Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, the Palace accordingly expects “warmer ties” between the Philippines and its long-time ally.
Reason for this according to Presidential Spokesman Sal Panelo, is that Washington will now give “preferential attention” to Manila.
On orders by President Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Monday relayed to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin about the Chief Executive’s decision to officially and formally terminate its 20-year-old military pact with the world’s superpower.
“It remains warm, hopefully, it would be warmer,” Panelo told reporters during a press conference Tuesday regarding US-H relations.
Reason for this, Panelo added, is that Washington has a peculiar habit of wooing back allies that have shown proclivity in breaking away from 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.
The President ordered the termination of the military pact shortly after the US canceled the visa of Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, although this should not be construed as the main reason of the President’s decision to end the military agreement Panelo said.
On Tuesday, 11 February 2020, Locsin formally relayed the notice to the US terminating the VFA.
If and when the US will not write any appeal within 180 days or six months (August 2020) upon receiving the notice, termination of the VFA becomes final and binding.
Locsin confirmed that the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy has already received the notice of termination through his Twitter account.
The VFA accorded legal status to US troops who were rotated in the country for military exercises and humanitarian assistance operations. (IAMIGO/sovereignph.com)