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Mabilis na mapasok! Ping gives naked truth on post-VFA Philippines

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No doubt Filipinos will find a way to survive the loss of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement. Still, the Philippines will now be exposed to various threats, domestic and foreign, that cannot be taken lightly, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Thursday.

Such is the naked truth about the sudden abrogation of the VFA, which Lacson likened to exposing oneself naked first before looking for other options for cover.

“The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before,” Lacson said in a statement.

He was referring to the formal notice served by the Philippines to the US to abrogate the VFA last Tuesday. President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened to scrap the VFA after the US canceled Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s visa.

While Lacson said the VFA may not be perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.

“The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover,” he added.

On the other hand, Lacson noted the Philippines is now exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, as well as the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China.

He added the country may need timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made.

Affected as well by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program, Lacson said.

Lacson said that while exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine, the reality is that “it doesn’t happen overnight.”

“It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate,” he said.

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