Marcos defends Duterte on VFA termination


Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to abrogate the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.

Marcos, speaking to reporters, said, “As long as it does not violate the constitution, the president has free hand in foreign policy.”

She also recommended inviting other countries to conduct military exercises with the Philippines, like Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.

“Kumbidahin nating lahat. At talagang paigtingin ang ating relations with our neighbors. Kung mag-iiwan sila ng equipment, OK din yon,” Marcos said.

“Para sa akin, ang importante is looking forward. Perhaps, in a way, this is consistent with the President’s effort to hew an independent foreign policy. May pride din naman sa Pilipinas yan na independent na tayong totoo. Pero yung independent, hindi naman ibig sabihin na nag-iisa ka, walang kaibigan. Hindi naman puwede yon,” she added.


On the statements of various government officials and experts saying the abrogation of the VFA threatens the implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty, Marcos said, “Sa totoo lang, nung nangyari yung Scarborough Shoal, wala namang nasindak. Higit sa lahat, yung mga Amerikano, hindi naman tayo tinulungan.”

Marcos was among the senators who signed a resolution urging the chief executive to reconsider abrograting the VFA. 

She was also among six senators, all Duterte allies, who then backpedaled on their support for the resolution.

Duterte had indicated his intention to withdraw from the VFA after another ally in the Senate, his former police chief Ronald Dela Rosa, had his US visa revoked. — BM, GMA News