Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte might also repeal the Philippines’ Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the U.S. after the VFA termination.
EDCA is an agreement between the United States and the Philippines intended to bolster the U.S.–Philippine alliance. The EDCA is a supplemental agreement to the previous Visiting Forces Agreement.
“The way his body language says mukhang ayaw niya na rin ‘yan [it seems he also doen’t like it]. Considering na sinasabi niyang [he was saying] it’s about time we stand on our own, strengthen our resources, our capability,” said Panelo in an interview.
“We cannot be relying (on other countries) on forever, cannot be a parasite to every country na gusto nating tumulong sa atin (that we want to help us).”
The President, however, will let the Senate review the country’s Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. The treaty obligates both the U.S. and the Philippines to come to each other’s defense in case of an attack.
Panelo says Duterte may also scrap EDCA after VFA
In the interview, Panelo said Duterte does not want to renegotiate the country’s VFA with the U.S.
“Hindi. Hindi nga siya open na tayo’y pumasok sa military agreement sa ibang bansa,” Panelo said.
(No. He is not even open that we enter a military agreement with other countries.)
“Kasi sinasabi niya hindi pwedeng forever tayo umaasa sa ibang bansa sa ating depensa. Tumayo na tayo mag-isa.”
(He’s saying we can’t forever rely on other countries to defend us. We have to stand on our own.)
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) termination between the U.S. and the Philippines is okay with him and that it would save his country a lot of money.