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Palace: Process of VFA termination has commenced

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By Prince Golez

The process of terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States (U.S.) has begun, Malacañang said on Friday.

“I just talked with (Foreign Affairs) Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin and he said he will start the process. Ambassador (to the United States Jose Manuel) Romualdez also has been informed,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.

“Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the expiration will come 130 days from the time parties notified each other. So, according to Secretary Locsin he is supposed to be departing any time a few hours from now to the U.S. But, he said he has already called the committee to start the process. He has even informed, I think, if I am not mistaken, the Senate about it,” he added.

Asked if the government is no longer giving the U.S. a chance to restore Senator Bato dela Rosa’s visa cancellation, the Palace official said: “Basta yun ang naging decision. Basta yun ang sabi ni Presidente, ‘Start the process tonight’.”

On Thursday, Duterte threatened to terminate the Philippines’ VFA with the United States should Washington fail to “correct” the canceled American visa of dela Rosa, a known ally of the President.

‘Pag hindi ninyo ginawa ang correction diyan, one. I will terminate the Bases Visiting Forces Agreement. Tapusin ko ‘yang p*tang i*a. I’m giving notice and they begin to count. I’m giving government and the American government one month from now, for us to talk. I will terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement,” he said in a speech in Leyte.

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