Malacañang: Duterte will not sign military pact with China

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has clarified that the President will not sign any military deals with China, after the government’s decision to end the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.
“Tinanong ko siya e. Sabi ko, ‘Mr. President are you willing to enter into a new military forces agreement with another country? ‘No,’’ Panelo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
Panelo added that ending the VFA only shows the government’s will to shift to an independent foreign policy and show to the world that we can stand on our own.
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“Talagang desidido siya na tumayo na tayo sa ating kakayahan. If that will mean you will be spending more, then let’s spend more,” Panelo said.
The VFA provided the legal framework and guidelines for American troops when they conducted military exercises here in the country.
The Duterte administration also does not see Beijing’s presence in the South China Seas as a threat to military security.
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“Sabi niya ito lang ang kalaban natin. Kaya natin iyon dahil kung hindi natin kaya ito, wala tayong karapatan maging gobyerno,” he said.
Two other military deals are also hanging now that the government decided to scrap the VFA: The 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) made under the Obama administration, and a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

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