SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go emphasized that he believes President Rodrigo Duterte has the authority to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States (US).
“Hintayin na lang natin ang magiging desisyon ng Pangulo. He has the authority to terminate the VFA since he is the chief architect of Philippine foreign policy,” Go said in an ambush interview during his visit to fire victims in Port Area, Manila.
Go expressed his support to the President on what his decision may be, saying “Suportado ko kung ito ang magiging desisyon ng mahal na Pangulo.”
Go, in a previous interview, said he respects the opinion of other senators who believe that the Senate should first review the termination of the VFA.
“Separate branch of government naman po kami, at karapatan po ng bawat senador to express our views, their views,” Go said.
Asked if he would vote for the Senate resolution asking the President to reconsider his decision, Go answered in a previous interview, “Susunod po ako kung ano ‘yung batas. Kung naaayon naman sa ating batas na pwedeng i-terminate ng Presidente ang VFA at kung di na po kailangan ng concurrence ng Congress ay respetuhin dapat po ‘yun.”
“Kapag naman sinabing kailangan munang i-review, rerespetuhin ko rin ito,” he added.
Asked if he personally agrees with the termination of the country’s VFA with the US, Go said that the US senators who meddle in the Philippines’ domestic affairs should be taught a lesson. He also asked them to “mind their own business”.
“Sa totoo lang, dapat bigyan ng leksyon ang mga pakialamerong senador (ng US). Tayo, hindi naman tayo nakikialam sa kanila. Just mind your own business. This is democracy,” he said.
Go expressed that the US senators should thoroughly inform themselves of the facts of the case of Senator Leila de Lima, reiterating that there is no persecution in her detention.
“Alamin muna nila dapat ano ang nangyari rito. Wala naman pong ginagawang persecution. Merong prosecution upheld by the Supreme Court sa kaso ni de Lima,” he said.
The Supreme Court, in June of 2018, affirmed its earlier ruling, upholding the legality of the arrest of de Lima over drug charges.
Go stressed that the US senators have no right to interfere in the Philippines’ domestic affairs.
“Panghihimasok po itong ginagawa nila just to pressure us. Wala po kayong karapatang manghimasok sa aming bansa,” he said.
Go the other day gave aid to 1,211 families comprised of 4,255 individuals affected by a fire that razed 200 houses on February 4 at Baseco Compound, Port Area.