Duterte hasn't ordered Locsin to notify US on ending VFA: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Saturday denied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr to notify the United States about the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
"This is fake news. (Department of Foreign Affairs) Sec. (Teodoro) Locsin has not (received) the order yet.'' said Lorenzana.
"Yes, according to (Executive) Sec. (Salvador) Medialdea! None," he added.
Lorenzana made the clarification after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday Duterte directed Medialdea to inform Locsin of his order to formally notify the US about the VFA termination.
Medialdea also confirmed on Saturday that he haven't received any instruction from the president.
"As of date I have not received any instruction to relay any message to anyone," he said.
Panelo defended his earlier statement saying he was only qouting what the president told him.
"What Secretary of National Defense meant is Executive Secretary has yet to receive the instruction. That is what Executive Secretary also told me last night that he has not received the instruction yet from PRRD ( President Rodrigo Roa Duterte)," he said.
"There is no inconsistency. I was quoting PRRD of what he told me. If he has not given the instruction yet to executive secretary it dies not mean the info I shared to media is untrue. It only means executive secretary has not yet gotten the directive from PRRD," he added.
In a Senate hearing last Thursday, Locsin said he has prepared the formal notice for termination of the VFA.
He said the DFA is just waiting for the direct order from Duterte before they will forward the notice of termination to the United States.
During the hearing, Locsin and Lorenzana discussed the importance and benefit of VFA for both countries. Robina Asido/DMS