Political analyst says VFA termination may benefit China, ISIS

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A political analyst said Wednesday that the abrupt termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States might benefit China and ISIS.

“Without a question, ang magbe-benefit dito sa pag-abrogate ng VFA ay mga bansang katulad ng Tsina dahil may territorial dispute pa tayo sa West Philippine Sea,” GMA political analyst Richard Heydarian said.

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(Without a question, those who would benefit in abrogating the VFA are countries like China as we have territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.)

“In fact, yung alyansa natin with the US, isa ito sa mga dahilan kung bakit hindi pa na-reclaim ang Scarborough Shoal na puwedeng i-reclaim ng China anytime soon,” he added.

(In fact, our alliance with the US is one of the reasons why Scarborough Shoal is yet to be reclaimed, but China could get it anytime soon.)

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Political analyst says VFA termination may benefit China, ISIS

Heydarian also noted that the international terrorist group ISIS and its affiliates in the Southeast Asian region could also take advantage of the “security vacuum” that may be created by the President Rodrigo Duterte-ordered termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement.

He said the VFA is the country’s Mutual Defense Treaty’s “software” that gives a legal framework for the entry and stay of US military forces in the Philippines.

Heydarian also emphasized the VFA termination would also affect the aids the US is giving to the Philippines, such as joint military exercises, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, and counter-insurgency operations.

“Para sa akin ito ay medyo reckless at hindi sang-ayon sa ating national interests,” Heydarian said.

(For me, this is a bit reckless and does not agree with our national interests.)

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin signed and delivered the notice of termination of the said pact.

President Rodrigo Duterte said earlier he is confident China will not attack the Philippines even after its termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US.

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