JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday disclosed that the Senate’s recommendation to review the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States instead of scrapping it is one of the options being considered by a Cabinet cluster.
The Cabinet cluster, which is currently reviewing the termination of the agreement, is composed of Department of National Defense, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Office of the Executive Secretary, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
“The DOJ (Department of Justice) report will consolidate the assessment made by other concerned executive agencies. We have no direct information about the comments of the Senate, but coincidentally, the suggestion of some senators to review (and not to terminate) the VFA happened to be one of the options considered by the Cabinet cluster,” Guevarra said in a statement.
The other day, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that the Senate will recommend the review of the VFA, saying the Philippine government should not scrap the VFA.
“Ang sense ng Senado ‘wag natin basta putulin ang VFA, siguro review… parang recommendation lang sa Presidente,” Sotto was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Guevarra revealed that he will be meeting representatives of the Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces (PCVF) today to thresh out the impact, if there is any, of the termination of the VFA.