Marcos backs Duterte on VFA: US has to pay

  • Senator Imee Marcos said she agrees with President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand that the US must pay more for the VFA
  • Marcos highlighted the strategic role of the Philippines in the region as an ally
  • She went on to describe the $3.9 billion military assistance given by the US to the Philippines as “paltry” compared to the $16 billion given to Pakistan

Senator Imee Marcos expressed her support on the recent statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the United States must pay for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Image by Imee Marcos via Facebook

According to Marcos, the Philippines needs to be “better compensated” for enhancing the US’ military posture in the Indo-Pacific region.

Marcos said in a statement, “The Philippines not only enhances the forward defense perimeter of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region but even subsidizes its utility expenses in our very own bases.”

Marcos went on to stress that the Philippine government should no longer be burdened with the financial costs of hosting US troops when many Filipinos are in dire need.

“When many Filipinos cannot even pay their water and electricity bills amid this pandemic, how can the Philippines continue subsidizing the utility expenses of American forces?” she asked; citing US military’s benefits under Article 7 of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The lawmaker admitted that she agrees with the President’s stand to ask for a bigger compensation for VFA. She described the $3.9 billion military assistance given by the US from 2001 to 2017 as “paltry” compared to the $16 billion they gave to Pakistan.

Image by GMA

Marcos highlighted the role of the Philippines in the Asia Pacific, saying, “Even superpowers need allies, and the new American pivot to the Asia-Pacific shows the enhanced role of our region and the Philippines.”

“Without the Philippines, America’s supply chain and security commitments in the region are vulnerable. But our hosting US forces makes us a potential and logical target of America’s adversaries if war breaks out in the region, even if it does not directly involve us,” she added.