By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte is standing firm on his decision to abrogate the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.
During a press briefing in Malacañang Monday evening, Duterte said terminating the VFA no longer needs Senate concurrence.
“They cannot compel me. I refuse to be compelled. I have terminated it. Tapos ang problema ko. Wala na akong problema diyan. Insofar as I am concerned, we are beginning to count the 180 days for them to pack up and go,” he also said.
“I am not reneging on the VFA and I am not going to America to discuss this with anybody.”
On Monday, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon filed a petition before the Supreme Court, compelling Duterte to seek the Senate’s concurrence on the VFA termination.
Duterte ordered the Department of Foreign Affairs to end the 2-decade old defense agreement after the US canceled Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s visa.