Gazmin: Do not forget that VFA is a component of PHL defense strategy

“Let us not forget that the VFA is a component of our overall defense strategy and its abrogation now will have an adverse effect on the minimum credible defense posture that we are working hard to achieve,” Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

He added that US have done “a lot to improve our defense capabilities, you know fully well that our efforts to upgrade the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been sorely left behind.”

“The Laude case has shown that the Philippines and United States are willing to cooperate fully with each other within the terms of the agreement. Both sides have also shown their respect for the sensitivities of one another over this incident. That is the VFA at work,” the national defense chief noted.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement (LOVFA), and AKBAYAN Party-List Representative Walden Bello filed a joint resolution to terminate VFA. According to Santiago, the forces agreement between US and PHL is unfavorable for to the country’s sovereignty, environment, and human rights record.

The resolution cited different incidents that US violated the Philippine Constitution and criminal laws, trample on Philippine sovereignty and infringe on local and international laws pertaining to the protection of the environment. It added that VFA is used to shield transgressions made by US military.