By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte will decide on the fate of the two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States (US) with the best interest of the Filipino people in mind, his long-time aide and Senator Christopher Go said.
Duterte earlier said the US must pay if it wanted to keep the VFA, a military deal signed in 1998 that allows American forces to train in the country.
“Alam mo, nirerespeto ko po ang…desisyon ng ating Pangulo as the Chief Architect of our foreign policy. Sovereign country naman po tayo and independent country ang Pilipinas,” Go said at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Northeastern Misamis General Hospital in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
“At alam ninyo… para sa amin ni Pangulong Duterte, interes po at kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino ang mangunguna parati sa magiging desisyon natin para sa ating bayan,” the lawmaker also said.
Duterte, he added, won’t let Filipinos be taken advantage of.
“At hindi kami papayag na ma-agrabyado po ang Pilipino sa anumang kasunduan. So, interest of the Filipino people, always po ‘yan priority namin ni Pangulong Duterte.”
In February 2020, the President ordered the termination of the VFA but suspended it amid the coronavirus pandemic.