Palace: Military pact with Australia stays
“The existing ones will be there because there is no reason to terminate it,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday in an interview on ANC when asked if the VFA with Australia will be terminated.
The Philippine-Australia SOVFA was signed in 2007 and ratified in 2012. It also covers the conduct of Australian troops who take part in military exercises in the Philippines.
Panelo’s statement came on the heels of the abrogation of the VFA between the Philippines and the U.S.
Panelo reiterated that the pact was terminated after the U.S. repeatedly meddled with the Philippines’ internal affairs – such as the initiative of several American to push for the release of detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration who is facing drug-related charges.
“ For one, the President feels that the U.S. insofar as Senate is concerned, the US Senate, as well as the executive department have assaulted our sovereignty,” Panelo said.
He added that this is “not only of disrespect to our judicial system but an assault to our sovereignty.”
The President threatened to terminate the VFA, which took effect in 1999, after the U.S. cancelled the visa of former national police chief and now Sen. Ronald Dela Rosa.
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