Press Release
June 18, 2021

Bong Go supports PRRD's decision to suspend the abrogation of the PH-US VFA for another six months, says Duterte admin to always prioritize interests of Filipinos

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go said that he supports the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the abrogation of the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States of America for another six months.

As the chief architect of the country's foreign policy, Go said that Duterte has the prerogative to make such decision for the Philippines which, he stressed, is a "sovereign and an independent country". He highlighted the importance to show respect for sovereign equality and that an alliance should mean treating each other as partners.

"Ako naman po ay sang-ayon dun dahil nasa gitna pa tayo ng pandemya. As the chief architect of the foreign policy, ang pagkakilala ko po kay Pangulong Duterte, binabalanse po niya lahat. Inuuna niya po interes ng bawat Pilipino, interes ng ating bayan," said Go during an interview after he attended the launch of the 120th Malasakit Center at the San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

"Nasa gitna pa tayo ng pandemya. Maaaring mahirap in the middle po na biglang i-pull out. Maaaring marami pang maitulong sa atin ang Amerika. Maaaring makakatulong din sila sa atin sa supply ng bakuna so i-set aside muna natin ang usapin sa VFA," explained the Senator.

Go also mentioned that there is no urgency in terminating the VFA for now, adding that negotiations between the Philippines and the United States can still happen within the six-month suspension which could result in further improving foreign relations to aid in the country's pandemic response.

"Ito po ang panahon na magtutulungan tayo. Di po ito panahon na maghihiwa-hiwalay tayo," said Go.

"Kung maaari sa six months na 'yan, maaaring pwede pang pag-usapan pa na meron pang magagandang idudulot o maitutulong ang US, lalo na sa kampanya laban sa COVID-19, very much welcome po ito. Kung makakatulong sa mahihirap makakatulong sa mga kababayan natin," he added.

Asked if he personally supports the termination of the VFA, Go said that, as a Senator, he will choose the interest and welfare of all Filipinos.

"I will decide as Senator kung darating po sa amin 'yan para i-ratify. Magdedesisyon po ako. Pero rest assured ang desisyon ko ay para sa interes at kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino," he concluded.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said that the suspension will be extended for another six months as Duterte "studies, and both sides further address his concerns regarding, particular aspects of the agreement".

This is the third time that the abrogation of the VFA was suspended by the President.

The Philippine government first formally notified the United States government of its intention to terminate the VFA on February 11 last year, in line with Duterte's independent foreign policy.

Last February, Duterte expressed that United States must "pay" a toll, if it wants to keep the agreement with the Philippines. Both countries are also treaty allies.

News Latest News Feed