By Hannah Torregoza
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima said on Sunday President Duterte’s threat to terminate the Philippines’ Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States will be detrimental to the country.
“To be clear: canceling the VFA is not the best move for the Filipino people and Philippine interests. It can only be good for certain foreign interests,” De Lima said in a statement.
De Lima said the President’s threat to cancel the bilateral agreement reminds her of how the Chinese government acted in the early days of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan.
The senator noted that instead of addressing the growing problem, the Chinese officials punished health workers and journalists who were attempting to warn the public about the spread of the disease.
“That irrational move not only failed to solve the problem, it made it so, so much worse. A clear example of how irrational tyranny poses a danger to everyone around them,” she said.
Duterte’s threat to cancel the VFA came following Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s confirmation that his US visa has been cancelled.
Dela Rosa said he believes that the cancellation of his US visa is linked to a US policy banning Filipino officials who had a hand in the arrest and detention of De Lima who is facing illegal drug charges and his being the chief implementor of the Duterte government’s war on drugs campaign.
Dela Rosa, however, echoed the President’s statements that the US is encroaching on the Philippine’s sovereignty by meddling in the country’s internal and domestic affairs.