Press Release
February 6, 2020

Senate hearing on VFA
Feb. 6, 2020

Magandang umaga po Mr. Chair at sa lahat ng ating mga panauhin ngayon. It is our Constitutional duty to uphold the principles of separation of powers especially checks and balances which gave rise to the need for Senate action on treaties. Hindi natin ito pribilehiyo lang. Tungkulin nating busisiin ang mga treaty na pinapasok at inaalisan ng Pilipinas.

In the fulfillment of this duty, we need to evaluate the Visiting Forces Agreement beyond the political noise and assess it on its own merit. Sa loob ng mahigit dalawang dekada ng VFA, nakabuti ba sa atin ito?

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who was former Chairperson of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA and a world-renowned international law expert, reminded the Senate body over and over again to assert its position that the Philippine government must "renegotiate or abrogate the VFA".

Over the years, Senator Miriam passionately argued in favor of Philippine sovereignty as well as the rights and dignity of its citizens which she said, and I quote, "suffered immensely due to the lopsided provisions." Hindi naman natin sinasabing walang benepisyo ito sa atin, pero pwedeng talakayin kung ano ang ikinabuti natin dito at kung ano naman ang pwede pa nating igiit sa kanila.

If we are to withdraw from any bilateral agreement, let it be with basis. If we are to concur on any executive action, let it be ultimately for the interest of the people. Maraming salamat po.

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