MANILA – The termination of theVisiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United Stateswill not be good for the country, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretaryTeodoro Locsin Jr. said. During his appearance in the Senate,Locsin said continuing the VFA will be more beneficial to the country andtermination of it will negatively impact the country’s defense and securityarrangements. Locsin’s latest pronouncement wasdespite him saying late last month he already asked Defense chief DelfinLorenzana to start the termination process. “The continuance of the agreement isdeemed more beneficial to the country compared to any benefits were it to beterminated,” Locsin said. “The Philippines’ contribution to the regionaldefense was anchored in our military alliance with world’s last super power.” No reason was given for thecancellation of the visa but the US federal budget for 2020 contained aprovision banning the entry into the US of Filipino officials involved in thedetention of Sen. Leila de Lima. Terminating the VFA, he said, wouldnegatively impact the country’s defense and security arrangements as well asthe overall bilateral relations of the Philippines with the US, perhaps even insub-regional and multilateral levels,”he added. He added: “There is value inrevisiting the VFA to address matters of sovereignty such as jurisdiction andcustody and early resumption of clarificatory talks should serve as basis, aswell as jump off point for a review of the VFA.”/PN The Senate Committee on ForeignAffairs is looking into the Philippines’ defense and military agreements withthe US after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of the VFAfollowing the US’ cancellation of Sen.r Ronald Dela Rosa’s visa. “I have prepared the notice oftermination but it has not been sent upon the orders of the President,” Locsinsaid. “Perhaps, we should review the VFA. Certainly we should do that because Idon’t believe that just because we need them we should suffer insults to oursovereignty.” The Philippine government has yet tosend to the US any notice to terminate the VFA.