Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday disclosed that there is “one little item left” in the ongoing negotiation between the Philippines and the United States regarding the fate of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
“We’re almost there. One little item left,” Locsin said in a tweet.
Locsin made this disclosure shortly after Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez sees the end of the negotiation “within the next couple of weeks” and prepare for the submission of the final documents to President Duterte.
At the virtual press briefing in Malacañang, Romualdez said both panels are in continuing dialogue and full discussions for the past several months now.
“We are hoping that this will be all resolved within the next couple of weeks so that we can finalize and present to Secretary Locsin and the President,” he said.
Romualdez emphasized that the VFA is “an important piece of agreement” that both the US and the Philippines would like to make sure will be mutually acceptable.
The Philippines and the US started the VFA negotiations last Feb. 11, or exactly a year after Duterte unilaterally terminated the decades-long military pact in response to the revocation of the US visa of his close ally and first police chief, Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.