House Speaker Belmonte: Look at the bigger picture, PHL needs defense posture

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said that Visiting Forces Agreement should not be terminated because of “one incident wherein we don’t even know [yet] the facts of the incident.”

“I think the big picture has something to do with our defense posture, our position in the face of power structures in our part of the world,” Belmonte said.

President Aquino said in an interview while in Leyte for the celebration of 70th Leyte Gulf Landing Anniversary, “Why should the VFA be abrogated? I mean, name me any place that doesn’t have crime. And the sin of one person should be reflective of the entire country? I don’t think so.”

Instead of terminating, lawmakers from Senate and House of Representatives want VFA to be reviewed to eliminate confusion and calls for renegotiation.

“While we acknowledge the benefits of the VFA, especially in providing the needed support for our armed forces as we have yet to complete the military modernization program, we cannot turn a blind eye to the iniquitous provisions of the Agreement,” Senator Loren Legarda said.

“I continue my call for the review of the VFA for clearer, stronger and stricter stipulations which are mutually beneficial to both parties in every step of the way,” Senator Escudero said.