President Duterte defends decision to terminate the Philippines-U.S. Visiting Forces Agreement

President Rodrigo Duterte defended his decision to terminate the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement with the U.S.

Speaking in Malacanang on Wednesday, Duterte said he cannot tolerate how his administration was portrayed by Washington as being incapable of administering justice.

Duterte adds he will decline any invitation to visit the U.S. in the future, as a matter of principle.

“Kailangan ba natin ng America, the might and power of the military of the United States to fight our rebellion here, and the terrorists down south, and control drugs? … The military and police said, Sir, kaya natin, sabi nila. Kasi pag hindi natin kaya, we have no business being a republic. You might as well choose — we can be a territory of the Americans or a province of China, kung di natin kaya.”

The VFA is the legal framework for the presence of U.S. troops on Philippine soil.

Duterte moved to terminate the military pact after the U.S. canceled last month the visa of Senator Ronald Bato Dela Rosa.

The lawmaker was formerly Duterte’s national police chief, who implemented the president’s anti-drug war.

The visa cancellation followed efforts by several U.S. lawmakers to ban Philippine officials allegedly behind the detention of Filipino opposition senator Leila de Lima.

But Duterte reiterates, De Lima’s case underwent due process.

He calls out U.S. officials anew for meddling in her case.

The tongue- lashing comes after De Lima confirmed she has submitted to the U.S. State Department last month a list of her alleged persecutors.

That’s in keeping up with the Global Magnitsky Act applied by Washington on Philippine government officials behind De Lima’s detention.

The legislation bars human rights violators from entering American soil.

For Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo De lima should also be included in the list she submitted.

He argues De Lima violated Philippine drug laws.

“She’s forgetting that she’s also a violator of human rights. Kaya nga siya naka-demanda eh. O baka—Kung hindi niya nilagay ‘yung pangalan niya doon na number one, eh… mali ‘yung listahan niya on the assumption na totoo ‘yung sinasabi niya. Kasama siya doon dapat.”

Senator and former special assistant to the president Bong Go echoes the same rhetoric.
He adds President Trump is too intelligent to believe De Lima’s claims.

De lima marked the third anniversary of her detention earlier this week.

The key Duterte critic has asserted her innocence over what she describes as trumped-up drug charges.

De lima says she has never betrayed her duty as a public servant, and will continue to fight for the interest of the Filipino people.

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    29 February 2020 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    DUTERTE already terminated VFA, the issue is thousand US FACTORY in China are moving out.TRUMP who saw that if HClinton should have won the Presidency, by 2020, China projected to overtake the US economy. TRUMP started the tariff sanctioned on 2018, 2019-CHINA SURRENDERED, TRUMP got everything on US-China Trade phase 1, yet maintain 25% Tariff for Phase2. 2020 Coronavirus erupted TRUMP found out many things, 80% of the US Drug Factories are in China, American CDC needs 100M to Face Mask they cannot deliver, no anti-biotic medicine, aircraft, spare parts, etc. because Chinese workers are sick and shut down their door. TRUMP went to INDIA, soon ASEAN meeting in VEGAS, this is the future destinations of US Corp. Vietnam former enemy, their former and new President visited WH 2 times, some US Corp already in Vietnam, TRUMP knew PH is a long time ally, twice Trump invited DUTERTE, no intention of coming. “DUTERTE I know you love your country BRING HOME the US Factories”. TRUMP will NOT COME to you to deliver the US Corp. ATTEND the meeting. Only MARCOS saw these US Factory movements, he built BATAAN FREE TRADE ZONE, we have the facility, but we lost most of the US Factory because Communist CHINA offered a better deal. NO UNION compared to the PH activist rally at the BATAAN Freeport. After that China became a Superpower and started stealing US Technology..US economy is $21.4 Trillion, China #2 is $14T, Russia #11 is $1.4 T . Play big, Wake up, don’t be emotional.