Trump trying to save VFA, says Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday disclosed that US President Donald Trump is trying to “save” the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between Manila and Washington.
“Ngayon, I’ll make it public. Because public official ako. Si Trump, pati yung (including) others, are trying to save the Visiting Forces Agreement. Sabi ko, ayaw ko (I said no way),” Duterte said in a speech before the local chief executives in Pasay City.
Duterte reiterated that the US has been meddling in the country’s affairs, citing the some lawmakers’ demand to release opposition Senator Leila de Lima.
“One is that napakabastos ng Amerika. Sobrang bastos (America is so rude),” Duterte said. “Imagine demanding the release of De Lima under threat that we will not receive the aid at may kulatilya that all persons who had a hand in the imprisonment of De lima will not be allowed to go to the United States. P**** i**, ano bang nasa Amerika? (What’s so special about America?)”
The U.S. earlier passed a budget that includes a provision banning officials involved in the detention of De Lima. Duterte, in response, ordered the banning of U.S. senators who supported the opposition senator’s release.
In addition to the U.S.’ demand to free De Lima, Duterte also said that the U.S. has not helped the country in fighting communists.
“Alam mo (You know), we’ve been fighting the communists for 53 years. Kung nakatulong talaga ang Amerika, p…i…naman, hanggang ngayon?” Duterte lamented. (If America really helped us…[why are we still fighting the communists] at this time?)
Duterte earlier ordered the termination of the VFA, which took effect in 1999, if the U.S. does not “correct” its cancellation of the US visa of former police chief and Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
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