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PDP stalwart chides Duterte over VFA revocation

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

A stalwart of ruling PDP Laban party has scored President Rodrigo Duterte’s impending decision to terminate the country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.

House Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel (Surigao del Sur) said the impending revocation of VFA will only make the Philippines more vulnerable to outside threats.

“I don’t think revoking the VFA is a good idea,” said Pimentel.

Pimentel stressed that “definitely, there will be repercussions if (the President) scraps the VFA.”

Pimentel said he believes “the VFA is a deterrent to would-be intruders.”

Duterte last week has just threatened to scrap the Philippines military agreement with the world’s super power in response to cancellation of US visa of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

Malacañang revealed that it has initiated the process of abrogating the VFA with Washington.

But Pimentel stressed that cancelling the VFA “will not be a good idea” considering that “the United States is a long time ally and one of our benefactors.”

“Maybe he should make a thorough study of this matter,” said Pimentel.

Washington has been Manila’s Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) partner for almost seven decades.

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