MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday criticized the government’s inconsistencies regarding the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
“We don’t know what’s the truth one government agency says this is true, but another one says the opposite,” Robredo said in Filipino in “BISErbisyong LENI” her weekly show aired over AM radio station RMN-DZXL 558.
“A government agency should not make a public statement that it’s sure to be. But sometimes that’s what happens,” she added.
On Friday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that President Rodrigo Duterte had instructed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to tell Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to send the notice of termination to the US government.
However, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana denied this on Saturday, saying that the order to notify the US on the termination of the VFA is “fake news.”
On the same day, Medialdea said that he had not received the President’s instruction to terminate the VFA.
Panelo also clarified that Medialdea had informed him about the issue the previous night and that he was quoting the President on his earlier statement.
On Sunday, Panelo said that official documents on the termination of the VFA would be needed and that these might be available by Monday when government offices open and the President returns from Davao City.
“I hope [officials] are more careful when they’re not sure. I hope they don’t make [unverified] public statements because there’s always the presumption of truth and regularity when they come from government officials, when they come from government agencies,” Robredo said.
“I hope that’s not done because the public is confused about who to believe,” she added.
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