PH pivot to China possible if VFA is terminated - exDFA Del Rosario

PH pivot to China possible if VFA is terminated - exDFA Del Rosario

Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario is talking again after president Rodrigo Roa Duterte made the statement that he is  terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States of America (USA).

Del Rosario says that this move will make the Philippines pivot to China and that by the termination of the VFA it will directly affect the implementation of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the country and the United States of America (USA).

"Without the VFA, making the MDT work would be more challenging, especially since we now have specific external threats as well as more devastating natural calamities," he said.

US serviceman shares his knowledge about the engagement process of a FIM-92 stinger missile with his Filipino counterpart during the KAMANDAG 3 at Colonel Ernesto P. Ravina Air Base, Philippines on Oct. 9, 2019.
(photo credit to owner)

Del Rosario also noted the quick response of the US in 2013 when the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck Leyte, all of which was possible because of the VFA.

"If we may recall, the quick US relief response during the Yolanda disaster was made possible by the VFA. Other countries wanted to immediately respond but were constrained by the lack of legal arrangements for their troops to enter the Philippines. At its peak, the US military efforts included more than 13,000 military personnel, 66 aircraft and 12 naval vessels. The US delivered more than 2,500 tons of relief supplies and evacuated over 21,000 people," Del Rosario explained.
Should the VFA between the US and the Philippines be terminated, Del Rosario said the country's shift towards China will be actualized.

"Terminating the VFA would serve to actualize our pivot towards China against the strong and vehement objections of our people," he said.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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