Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said President Rodrigo Duterte is right that the Philippines should no longer depend on any country for defense.
“President is right. No more VFA’s even w[ith] other countries. We stand by our own guns by buying our own w a defense budget commensurate to the threats to our sovereignty. Anyone suggests alternative VFAs with potential aggressors gets slapped by me. US will never be a threat,” Secretary Locsin said in a Twitter post.
“US protected us from Soviet/Chinese communism, stopped the fall of the Philippine domino by fighting like hell in Vietnam & deterred another round of reef-grabbing. Time to pay our own way to our own sovereign defense. Then US will be even more dependable ally,” Locsin also said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said in interview with Ted Failon that the President is no longer open to VFA review with US and is not interested in VFA with other countries.
“Hindi siya open. Hindi nga siya open na tayo ay pumasok sa mga military agreement sa ibang bansa eh. Kasi nga sinasabi niya, hindi pupuwedeng forever tayong naka – anong tawag doon? – relying. Umaasa tayo sa ibang bansa sa ating depensa eh. Kailangan palakasin natin ang ating puwersa, mga resources natin, tumayo na tayong mag-isa,” Secretary Panelo said.