VFA still being reviewed, Palace says
MANILA - Malacanang on Monday said the proposed military rotational presence agreement with the United States may render some portions of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) irrelevant.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said the government is not yet done reviewing the VFA.
He said it is not a prerequisite to signing a new agreement with the US.
"Chineck ko po kanina at ayon sa tanggapan po ni Executive Secretary ay ongoing pa iyon. Hindi pa nila tapos. Hindi naman yan sequential or meron naman siyang dapat na maging some kind of convergence or confluence," he said.
"Siguro mas mainam tingnan na lang natin ito as dynamic processes. Dynamic and parallel processes. It's possible na dahil doon sa bagong kasunduan, merong mga provision doon sa existing na ma-supersede o maging irrelevant na iyon," he added.
Malacanang said the review of the VFA and the proposed rotational presence agreement negotiations are not mutually exclusive.
"Wala namang violence na naganap doon sa pagre-review. Ang importante, iyung stability at iyung viability of the bilateral relations, which is already being updated in view of the ongoing negotiations na naka-5 na ba or 6 na round at patuloy pang isinasagawa. Wala namang incompatibility or divergence iyong dalawang issue na iyon," Coloma said.