“The Filipino people are resilient and our soldiers are no different. We will survive, no doubt. We know how to improvise and we can adapt to crises the way we did many times before,” Senator Ping Lacson said in relation to the scrapping of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with United States.
“But in the meantime, we remain exposed to terrorist threats, both domestic and foreign, not to mention the continuing security threat in the West Philippine Sea posed by China, and even the need for timely humanitarian response and assistance that the US is capable of deploying during disasters, natural or man-made,” he noted.
He also said that maintenance and repairs of military hardware, mostly air assets provided by the US under the AFP modernization program are affected.
“Exploring other options like inking similar defense treaties with other nations as posited by the AFP Chief of Staff is fine but the reality is, it doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a series of back-and-forth negotiations in pursuit of the concerned parties’ self and national interests before going through lengthy deliberations for ratification by the Senate,” he said.
“While admittedly, the VFA is not perfect for the Philippines as far as equitability is concerned, the timing and reasons for its abrogation are way off the mark,” Senator Lacson explained.
“The thing is, it is not the smartest move of the President to expose ourselves naked first before looking for other options for cover,” he added.