Home NEWS Robredo: Cash should not be fundamental consideration in preserving, scrapping VFA

Robredo: Cash should not be fundamental consideration in preserving, scrapping VFA

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(Philstar.com) – February 14, 2021 – 5:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest demand for Washington to pay the Philippines if it desires the Visiting Forces Settlement to stay is in unhealthy style, Vice President Leni Robredo mentioned, including cash shouldn’t be the explanation to remain in or depart the deal.

“It sounds similar to extortion,” Robredo mentioned in Filipino on her weekly radio present. “It is embarrassing as a result of it seems like we’re extorting from them.”

“If we are saying we need to abrogate the VFA, we must always clarify why we do not really feel it is going to profit us. Cash should not be the principle consideration. It ought to be based mostly on the mutual good thing about each events concerned. It may possibly’t be, ‘you are my good friend if you happen to give me cash’,” the vp additionally mentioned. 

On the onset of his marketing campaign, Duterte was not shy about his intent to pursue an impartial international coverage and distance from the USA, the nation’s treaty ally and former colonizer.

In February final 12 months, the Philippines expressed its intent to terminate the VFA, after the cancellation of Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s US visa earned Duterte’s ire. The termination of the VFA has been suspended twice since.

The chief government, talking this week earlier than members of the Philippine Air Power, mentioned he’s reluctant over talking out in opposition to China over the West Philippine Sea, the a part of the South China Sea that’s contained in the Philippines’ Unique Financial Zone.

“I’m strolling on a tightrope, really. I can not afford to be courageous within the mouth in opposition to China as a result of we’re avoiding any confrontation, a confrontation that might result in one thing which we are able to hardly afford, not less than not presently,” Duterte mentioned in the identical speech.

He was not as shy about feedback on the US, nonetheless.

“I wish to placed on discover if there’s an American agent right here, that to any extent further, you need the Visiting Forces Settlement finished? Properly, they need to pay…As a result of in any case, when the struggle breaks out, all of us pay. You, kami (us), we’re nearest to the garrison there the place there are plenty of arsenals of the Chinese language armed forces,” he mentioned. 

RELATED: US reaffirms commitment to Mutual Defense Treaty with Philippines

Duterte additionally mentioned final December that termination of the VFA would proceed as deliberate if the US wouldn’t present the Philippines with coronavirus vaccines, that are made by American producers however not by its authorities.

Talking earlier than the United Nations that very same month, appealed to the worldwide neighborhood for generosity with the jabs, calling it a “gross injustice” to exclude poorer international locations from vaccination. 

Lacson: We’re not a nation of extortionists

Sen. Panfilo Lacson has additionally slammed the president’s newest ramble, saying in a tweet: “Simply to make clear, please learn that we’re not a nation of extortionists; at lalong hindi kami ‘mukhang pera’ (and we’re positively not grasping).” He addressed his submit to “Sam.” 

Beijing continues to reject the arbitral ruling that the Philippines received at a global tribunal in 2016 that held that China’s nine-dash line declare doesn’t have authorized foundation.

Different members of the Phillippine delegation within the South China Sea arbitration have already mentioned that imposing the arbitral win does not necessarily mean going to war with Beijing, suggesting different attainable measures to uphold the ruling.

Robredo held subject with the president’s logic, saying that asserting the nation’s sovereignty was not the identical factor as declaring struggle—two issues the chief government has wrongly equated up to now, asserting that he cannot do anything on the maritime dispute

“We aren’t right here to begin fights. We’re simply preventing for what’s ours. We’re preventing for our rights. While you do this, folks cannot say you are beginning conflicts. The primary obligation to the Filipinos is defending them, and you may’t say you are not doing that since you’re scared,” she mentioned in her radio present. 

“What’s that? We will not defend our personal as a result of we’re frightened of another person?”

Franco Luna with a report from Bella Perez-Rubio

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