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Sa COVID-19 nga makupad! Robredo shocked at swift VFA termination

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Vice President Leni Robredo slammed Wednesday (February 12) President Rodrigo Duterte’s haste in ending the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States amid the challenges the country is facing.

Robredo told reporters in Camarines Sur that Duterte’s rush in ending the VFA stands in contrast to the administration’s laxity in addressing the threat of COVID-19, the new coronavirus.

“Nakakagulat na ganoong kabilis,” she said. “Kasi iyong naiisip ko, iyong pumutok iyong coronavirus: iyon, iyong agarang pagdesisyon ng pamahalaan, kinakailangan para maproteksyunan iyong kalusugan ng mga mamamayan, pero naghintay pa ng ilang araw bago magdesisyon. Pero ito, parang sinantabi iyong pakikiusap ng AFP, ng Senate, ng iba pang mga opisyal ng pamahalaan.”

The Philippines on Tuesday (February 11) sent notice of the VFA’s termination to the US, with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. signing the document on President Rodrigo Duterte’s order.

The VFA is deemed terminated upon a party’s written notice of its intention to end the agreement. It will take effect 180 days after the notification was made.

Robredo urged the administration to study the termination of VFA again in light of its implications for national security.

“Ang hinihingi lang natin sana pag-aralan nang maayos. Ano ba naman iyong upuan at pakinggan iyong kaisipan ng iba’t ibang mga sektor?” she said.

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