Tag: VFA

Read | Senate Petition Before the Supreme Court (G.R. No. 251977)

Photo courtesy: Senate PRIB

The Senate filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus before the Supreme Court on March 9, 2020, seeking a ruling on the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties such as the VFA. Sen. Ping Lacson, who was among the petitioners, said the petition will be strengthened by Senate Resolution 337. “Weโ€™re not filing this petition in our individual capacity as senators but weโ€™re backed by the whole Senate because of SR 337.”

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#PINGterview: Improved ‘New’ VFA; ‘Money Laundering’ by Chinese Visitors

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘New’ PH-US VFA under negotiation
– Spike in cash brought by Chinese into PH

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#PINGterview: After VFA, What’s Next?

In a phone patch interview on DZBB and GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson cites the possibilities after the Visiting Forces Agreement, including possible intervening events that could โ€˜undoโ€™ its abrogation.ย 

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#PINGterview: Lifting of Taiwan Travel Ban, Lt Col Espenido Issue, VFA Abrogation

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– lifting of travel ban on Taiwan
– issues involving P/Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
– possible actions after VFA abrogation
– franchise of ABS-CBN

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On a Post-VFA Philippines

The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before.

But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made. Also affected by the VFA’s abrogation is the maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program.

Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesnโ€™t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned partiesโ€™ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate.

While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark.

The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover.

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On the Signing of the Notice of Termination for the VFA

Balikatan 01

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.

Having said that, thereโ€™s no more intelligence information sharing in our fight against domestic and foreign terrorist acts, no more US military aid and financing that accounts for a good 52% of what they extend to the whole Asia-Pacific region.

That may not include 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.

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PingBills | Senate Resolution 312, Sense of the Senate for the President to Reconsider His Plan to Unilaterally Withdraw from the VFA

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

“Be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, to express as it hereby expresses the sense of the Senate to earnestly request the President to reconsider his planned abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement in the meantime that the Senate is conducting a review and impact assessment with the end in view of ensuring the continued safety and security of the Philippines and the Asia Pacific and maintain the existing balance of power within the region.” (co-author with Senate President Sotto and Sen. Drilon)

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#PINGterview: Possible National Security Implications of Scrapping VFA | Jan. 27, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on the possible implications on national security of scrapping the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

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