Duterte does not need to consult Cabinet on VFA termination, says spokesman
President Rodrigo Duterte does not need to consult his Cabinet officials on his decision to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States since he is the "chief architect" of foreign policy, Malacanang said on Monday.
"The President is the chief architect, he did not need to consult," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press briefing.
"He is a very good President, and a lawyer as well. Maybe if he has doubts on certain area, perhaps that the time he consults," he added.
During a Senate hearing last week on VFA, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Duterte did not consult them when he decided to terminate the VFA.
But Locsin said he did not want Duterte to consult him.
Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, said that the Cabinet members fully support Duterte's decision.
While Duterte earlier ordered the concerned government officials to start the process of terminating the VFA, the Philippine government has yet to send a formal notice to Washington to inform of its intention to end the more than two-decade-old treaty. Celerina Monte/DMS