Duterte can scrap PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement without Senate approval – Palace
Robie de Guzman • January 24, 2020 • 1213
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte can terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States (US) even without the concurrence of the Senate, Malacañang said on Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the president threatened to scrap the VFA if the US government does not reverse the cancellation of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s visa.
“Because it (VFA) is an executive agreement so he can cancel it without the approval of the Senate,” Panelo said.
Dela Rosa on Wednesday confirmed to media that he is not allowed to travel to the US for now after he received notification about his visa cancellation.
The senator said the exact reason on why his US visa was cancelled remains unclear but he heard reports it might be linked to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs that he spearheaded when he was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from 2016 to 2018.
The VFA, signed by Manila and Washington in 1998, is a bilateral deal which outlines the guidelines for the conduct of government troops when they are visiting the US or the Philippines.
Panelo said the US government should not intervene with the Philippines’ internal issues.
The Palace official also believes the president’s threat to cancel the VFA will not affect Filipino workers in the US. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to visit China to personally thank President Xi Jinping for donating 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines.
“I’d like to just say that towards the — maybe at the end of the year, when everything has settled down — I intend to make a short visit to China to just shake hands with President Xi Jinping and to personally thank him for this donation,” he said.
President Duterte noted China’s gesture of delivering the vaccine through its government military aircraft unlike other countries who needed to pick up the supply from China.
“I would like to just add that China has donated several vaccines to several countries. But it is only the donation made to the Philippines that was carried by a Chinese government plane. Iyong iba kinukuha doon sa China. Dito, hinatid sa atin,” he said.
The Chief Executive said he may push a trip to China by the end of the year.
Before heading to Beijing, the President said he wanted to visit Xiamen to see the school building that was built in honor of his late mother, Soledad.
“Maybe I’ll go to Xiamen. There’s a school built to honor my mother. You know, my mother was one of the first educators of the Chinese school in Davao,” he said.
Duterte insisted during Sunday’s arrival of China’s Sinovac vaccine that China has not requested anything in return for the donated vaccine adding that the donation is a “gesture of friendship and solidarity” between the two countries.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday (February 28) said, if he were to be asked, he wants to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
But due to advanced age, he said he needs his doctor’s clearance particularly on which brand of vaccine to get inoculated with.
The President is taking into consideration the experts’ advice to be more careful in choosing a vaccine for individuals like him who are past the age of 70.
“As to what brand, iyan ang problema because it is left to the sound discretion of my doctor,” he said.
“May caveat pa ‘yan. Seventy above people are, you know, sinasabi nila huwag na. In some areas, some countries, hindi na binabakunahan ‘yang 70. It’s either because they are nearing death or about to die or it could be useless to give them the vaccine because anyway they won’t live long,” he added.
Still, the President believes and is willing to get inoculated against COVID-19.
President Duterte is turning 76 years old on March 28.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier announced that the Office of the President is studying the possibility of giving the Chief Executive COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm, the brand of vaccine administered to the members of his Presidential Security Group.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has dared Vice President Leni Robredo to get vaccinated first against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) now that China’s Sinovac vaccine has finally arrived in the country.
“Siya man ‘yong apurado, siya ang mauna,” the President said of Robredo during the turn-over of the Sinovac vaccine at Pasay City on Sunday (February 28).
This was the President’s response to the call of Robredo for him to get vaccinated first to boost public confidence in the government’s vaccination efforts.
He said Robredo is more qualified to get vaccinated as she is younger than him.
“Ako, I cannot just decide. She’s young, I am not. I have to defer to my doctor,” the President said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the use of Sinovac vaccine to individuals who are fit and healthy, aged 18 to 59.
According to President Duterte, his doctors are recommending a different brand and he already requested a personal supply of a certain brand of vaccine which he opted not to disclose the name.
“Ako, nanghingi ako personal. Wala silang stock. Nanghingi ako para sa pamilya ko pati sa akin,” he said.
“I don’t know if we would have enough vaccines for everybody. But I think I can accommodate the Cabinet members,” he added.
Malacañang had earlier announced that the President prefers to use the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm which is another brand from China. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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