Lorenzana to discuss possible scenarios on ending VFA with Duterte
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will discuss with President Rodrigo Duterte the possible scenarios concerning the termination of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Philippines and United States.
"While maintaining constant consultations with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, I will discuss with the President the various scenarios concerning the possible termination of the VFA and what future actions may be undertaken by the DND (Department of National Defense) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) regarding this matter," Lorenzana said in a message to reporters on Friday night.
He said the DND and AFP are "preparing their briefs for the president."
The 1999 defense treaty allows American soldiers to join large-scale training with their Filipino counterparts in the Philippines.
It is a framework agreement that covers the treatment and presence of American forces in the country with or without war games.
The VFA will also be used if there is a crime committed by US personnel in the country.
Lorenzana said "the termination of the VFA may be unilaterally initiated by the Philippines."
"It is well within the right of the Philippine government to do so if it determines that the agreement no longer redounds to our national interest," he said.
"Such a termination does not need the approval of the Philippine Congress. All that is required is that a notice of termination be served to the US government," he added.
Lorenzana said "the termination shall take effect 180 days after the date of the notice."
Duterte initially threatened to terminate the VFA after the US visa of Senator Ronald Dela Rosa was cancelled. But Duterte ordered the VFA terminated on Friday.
Dela Rosa believes that his U.S. visa was cancelled due to the extra judicial killings allegation against him when he was head of the Philippine National Police. Robina Asido/DMS