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Wala na ring humanitarian mission! Ping: VFA termination a big loss in fight vs foreign, local terrorists

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With the Philippines’ signing of a notice of termination for the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Philippines’ 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States is no longer much more than a piece of paper, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.

In a statement, Lacson said nothing much can be done about the VFA now but to do a 180-day countdown upon receipt of the notice by Washington.

“Like it or not, bad or good, nothing much can be done now but do a 180-day countdown upon receipt of the notice by Washington. What is certain is that the 1951 PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty will now be reduced to a mere paper treaty as far as the US is concerned,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, the Philippine government signed the notice of termination for the VFA, which President Rodrigo Duterte had wanted scrapped.

On the other hand, Lacson also listed several things the Philippines stands to lose with the scrapping of the VFA.

These include intelligence information sharing against domestic and foreign terrorist acts, and US military aid and financing that accounts for a good 52% of what they extend to the whole Asia-Pacific region.

Worse, he said the Philippines also stands to lose “other intangible economic benefits and security from external threats in the West Philippine Sea, as well as humanitarian aid in times of disasters, epidemics and other crises.”

In earlier interviews, Lacson had noted the US extended aid to the Philippines in its time of need, including in 2013 when central Philippines was reeling from the effects of super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

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