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Kinontra si Rody? Inday Sara joins US State Dept’s leadership exchange program

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

While President Rodrigo Duterte is busy preparing to terminate the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with United States, her daughter Davao City Mayor Sara has other things in mind in dealing with the world’s super power.

Mayor Duterte is currently in Washington D.C. for the International Visitor Leadership Program, considered the premier professional exchange program of US State Department.

In a series of Twitter posts by US State Department policy adviser Michael Duffin, it can be seen that the President’s daughter was actively dealing with her American counterparts.

The program focused on working with allies to prevent and counter terrorism.

Mayor Duterte also joined US Mayors’ fellowship winter meeting wherein she was joined by Los Angeles, California Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chattanooga, Tennessee Mayor Andrew Lawrence Berke, and Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fisher.

IVLP is a professional exchange program funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The mission of IVLP is “to offer current and emerging international leaders” the opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of American political, economic, social and cultural life through carefully designed exchanges that reflect participants’ professional interests and the public diplomacy objectives of the US government.

It is only quite ironic that the participation of Mayor Duterte in the US-sponsored program coincidentally happened while his father, the elder Duterte has just threatened to scrap the Philippines military agreement with the world’s super power in response to the cancellation of US visa of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

In his Friday’s Twitter post, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said that he would “start the process” of terminating VFA.

“DFA Philippines Leaving for Wash DC on unrelated matters. But called DND [Department of National Defense] Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana as vice chair–I am chair of VFA–to start process of terminating USFVA [US VFA],” said Locsin.

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