Palace: All Cabinet officials support Duterte's move to end VFA
Malacañang insisted on Friday all Cabinet members support President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.
Presidential Spokesperson issued the statement to refute Senator Panfilo Lacson who earlier claimed some Cabinet officials were apprehensive, if not totally against, in abrogating the military treaty.
"All members of the Cabinet support PRRD’s foreign policy," he said in a text message to reporters.
The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, sent notice to the US on February 11 of its intention to end the 22-year old VFA.
The termination will take effect 180 days from notice.
During a previous Senate inquiry on the VFA, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. cited the many benefits the Philippines could get from maintaining a good relationship with Washington.
Locsin said that he was not in favor of terminating the VFA, but he proposed for its "vigorous review."
Duterte decided to end the military pact after the US passed a law, including a provision barring Filipino government officials allegedly involved in human rights violations and continued detention of opposition Senator Leila de Lima from entering its territory.
The US later canceled the visa of Senator Ronald dela Rosa, Duterte's former top cop who executed his war on drugs. Dela Rosa was not sure if the cancellation of his visa was in relation to the US ban. Celerina Monte/DMS