Marcos open to 'appropriate, beneficial' VFA with Japan
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday said he is open to the idea of a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with Japan as long as the deal is “appropriate" and does not increase tensions” in the South China Sea.
Marcos made this remark in an interview with the press onboard Philippine Airlines (PAL) Flight PR 001 en route to Manila.
“I think if it will be of help to the Philippines in terms of protecting, for example, our fishermen, protecting our maritime territory, if it’s going to help, if the results of our own study… siyempre pag-aaralan pa natin ‘yan eh kung talagang makakatulong,” Marcos pointed out.
“If kung talagang makakatulong, I don’t see why we should not adopt it…. If it is appropriate, if it does not constitute danger of increasing tensions, then that might be useful for the Philippines,” the President said.
The President also raised the need to “be careful also because we don’t want to appear provocative.”
“Imbis na pinapakalma natin ang sitwasyon sa South China Sea, ang ginagawa natin, mas magiging mainit, diba? That would be one,” the President said.
“Ang iniisip ko lang, ‘yung ating mga fishermen kailangang maprotektahan, kailangang maliwanag na tayo sa Pilipinas [ay] talagang… we are patrolling our waters and making sure that it is well-recognized na ‘yan ang talagang… maritime territory talaga ng Pilipinas ‘yan," the chief executive added.
The President, who concluded his working visit to Tokyo on Sunday, earlier said the Philippines will also review a proposed trilateral defense and security deal with two of its closest allies ? the United States and Japan.
Marcos' visit to Japan has so far resulted in the signing of seven bilateral agreements and 35 investment deals, with $13 billion or P708.2 billion worth of agreements set to yield around 24,000 jobs for Filipinos. Presidential News Desk