Del Rosario admits VFA ‘imperfect’ but benefits PH
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario called the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States “imperfect” but stressed its importance and benefits to the Philippines.
“Without the VFA, making the MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) work would be more challenging, especially since we now have specific external threats as well as more devastating natural calamities,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
The country’s chief diplomat during the Aquino administration also warned that “terminating the VFA would serve to actualize our pivot toward China against the strong and vehement objections of our people.”
“While the VFA is admittedly an imperfect agreement, it would interrupt the benefits of the MDT with regards to the joint training and exercises, the pursuit of modernization, achieving interoperability and providing assistance during natural calamities,” he added.
Del Rosario considered it an argument in favor of VFA that US troops were able to readily come in to help in the aftermath of the 2013 Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” saying other countries also wanted to send their troops but did not have an existing arrangement. INQ
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