Philippines to survive after VFA termination, Panelo says
The Philippines will "survive" after the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a Palace official said on Friday.
In an interview by CNN Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said there is no likelihood that President Rodrigo Duterte would still change his mind about his decision to abrogate the military treaty with Washington.
"We always survive and our life even becomes better," he said when asked what losses the Palace could see with the VFA termination.
Panelo, who is also the chief presidential legal counsel, could not see Duterte changing his position against VFA under his term.
"His position will be unchanged until the last day of his term," he said.
The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, sent a notice to the US ending the 22-year old treaty last Tuesday. The termination will be effective after 180 days from the sending of formal notice to the other party.
Panelo reiterated that the Philippines might also terminate the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US if it would really pursue the policy of standing on its own as what the President has said.
"Which means, they might be abolished also," he said when asked of the effect of the VFA termination on MDT and EDCA. Celerina Monte/DMS