Pangilinan says VFA lopsided, calls for review

October 19, 2010

Christina Mendez
The Philippine Star
October 19, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Francis Pangilinan has joined his colleagues in calling for a review of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), citing the lopsidedness of the treaty that puts the country at a disadvantage.

“Have we benefited militarily as envisioned by the agreement? Or has it been a lopsided arrangement favoring the Americans, who have been able to stay here indefinitely, enjoying basing arrangements without paying up?” he asked.

Pangilinan, who has been calling for the abrogation of the VFA, challenged the US government to pack up and leave if they don’t put their money where their mouths are.

“They are enjoying ‘first class amenities’ yet are paying dirt-cheap rates,” he said.

The senator pointed out that Pakistan receives billions of dollars in military aid just to allow US troops access to their territory, while the Philippines
gets only a few used Huey helicopters and one or two C-130 airplanes that have seen better days.

“Why we allow the US to throw breadcrumbs to us while it gives champagne and caviar is beyond me. The world has changed dramatically in the last 10 years since the VFA was first entered into. It’s about time we correct the onerous arrangement and even up the score. This is about regaining our self-respect as a nation and we most certainly deserve it,” Pangilinan said.

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