Tag: VFA

On the President’s Seeking Public Opinion on the PH-US VFA’s Fate

There you go! Nobody has the monopoly of wisdom regardless of power and authority. The best decisions are those made not out of hubris, but the humility of listening to as many people and trying to get a bit of what they have to say.

At the end of the day, the decision is his to make anyway. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in listening to others.

What matters most is that our national interest, dignity and self-respect will be upheld.

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Letter to the Editor: Senator Lacson Not Questioning the President’s Right to Ensure the US Fulfills its VFA Obligations [Manila Standard]

To the Manila Standard: We wish to set the record straight regarding some points made by Rod Kapunan in his column in the Feb. 20, 2021 issue of the Manila Standard—including his claim that Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson branded as an “extortionist stance” President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement that the United States will “have to pay” if they want the Visiting Forces Agreement done.

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On the Claims by Sec. Salvador Panelo on the PH-US VFA

It is a no-brainer that my friend from way back, Salvador Panelo, being a member of the President’s Cabinet, will defend him, right or wrong. Hence, I’m willing to give him enough leeway.

That said, Art. VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution is clear and unequivocal on the participation of each and every Senator in voting for or against the ratification of a treaty or international agreement, which the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement is.

In fact, official records of the Senate will tell us that the vote on May 27, 1999 was 18-5, without which the same would not have been valid and effective.

More importantly: Whether or not an international agreement or a treaty has already been made valid and effective, it is still wrong to assert that a sitting senator and even an ordinary citizen of this country has no more freedom to express his opinion with something that concerns our national interest.

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Ping: Nasa Konstitusyon ang Kapangyarihan ng Mga Senador sa Kasunduan Tulad ng VFA

Malinaw na nakasaad sa Saligang Batas ang karapatan ng Senado sa pagpasok ng ating pamahalaan sa mga pandaigdigang tratado lalo na kung nakasalalay ang pangmatagalang kapakanan at interes ng bansa, katulad ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Iginiit din ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, na mas epektibo kung ang paghahatid ng mensahe ay ipinaabot sa pamamagitan ng madiplomasyang pamamaraan.

“I may not be a lawyer like the President. But last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution. It says: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Constitution Gives Senators a Say in International Agreements Like VFA
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Lacson: Constitution Gives Senators a Say in International Agreements Like VFA

No less than the 1987 Constitution gives senators a say in the Philippines’ international agreements like the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, especially if they affect the country’s long-term national interest and security.

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this on Tuesday as he maintained a diplomatic and civil approach is more effective in upholding the national interest in the long run.

“I may not be a lawyer like the President. But last time I read the Constitution, a senator has something to do with international agreements. The President should refresh his memory by reading Article VII, Sec. 21 of the 1987 Constitution. It says: No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense.

Related: Ping: Nasa Konstitusyon ang Kapangyarihan ng Mga Senador sa Kasunduan Tulad ng VFA
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Ping: Ipaabot sa Madiplomasyang Paraan ang Mensahe sa US tungkol sa VFA

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Mas epektibo ang sibil, madiplomasya at magalang na paraan ng paghahatid ng mensahe sa isang matagal nang kaalyado gaya ng Estados Unidos, lalo sa usapin tulad ng Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Binanggit ito ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Committee on National Defense, dahil para sa kanya ay hindi dapat presyuhan ang kahalagahan ng VFA sa Pilipinas.

“The President may have used strong words to send his message across to the US. But certainly, there is a more civil and statesmanlike manner to ask for compensation from a longtime ally using the usual diplomatic channels and still get the same desired results,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson: Diplomatic Approach More Effective in Sending Message to US on VFA
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Lacson: Diplomatic Approach More Effective in Sending Message to US on VFA

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Why use strong words to send a message to a longtime ally when a civil, diplomatic and statesmanlike approach can be more effective?

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson stressed this Sunday as he pointed out one cannot put a price tag on the value of the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement on the Philippines.

“The President may have used strong words to send his message across to the US. But certainly, there is a more civil and statesmanlike manner to ask for compensation from a longtime ally using the usual diplomatic channels and still get the same desired results,” said Lacson, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense.

Related: Ping: Ipaabot sa Madiplomasyang Paraan ang Mensahe sa US tungkol sa VFA
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On the President’s ‘No Vaccines, No VFA’ Pronouncement

“No vaccines, no VFA!” Treating the Americans like a bunch of yokels might have sealed our fate to settle for China’s Sinovac in lieu of the US-made Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

Such a pronouncement from the President is at the very least, unfortunate. I think there could be a more diplomatic or at least a better way of asking a longtime ally to help us avail of the vaccines for our people without sounding like we are blackmailing our way into it.

What is more unfortunate is that we had a good chance to procure vaccines early from the US, but someone from our side dropped the ball, and has yet to be held accountable up to this day.

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On a US Bill Seeking to Suspend Security Assistance to PH

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Members of the US Congress are within their rights to file any legislative measure under any circumstances. As in our case, it will have to go through the mill of first reading and referral, committee hearings and floor debates.

If adopted and approved, the said bill – H.R. 8313 – will not only be our loss but theirs as well, considering that a major part of the security assistance being extended to the Philippines is used to combat terrorism, which knows no borders and timing. And they know that for a fact.

And since the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is still existing, they may have to resolve that as a legal issue in their deliberations.

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#PINGterview: Anti-Terror Law sa Korte Suprema; Pagtungo ni PRRD sa Zamboanga dahil sa Jolo Incident; Bayanihan 2

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* Anti-Terror Bill to be questioned before the Supreme Court [10:01]
* goals of Senate inquiry into Jolo incident [34:24]
* PH warning vs China over military exercises [40:34]
* special session for Bayanihan 2 [42:39]

QUOTES and NOTES:
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