Ochoa cites importance of VFA; stresses need for review PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 November 2010 13:27

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. on Tuesday underscored the importance of the defense partnership with the United States under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in maintaining national and regional security, but said that a review of the treaty is necessary to ensure it reflects the interest of the nation.

Speaking before the organizational meeting of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA (LOVFA) at the Senate, Ochoa recognized the long history that the Philippines and the US share and the role their alliance plays in promoting peace and stability.

After more than a decade since the VFA was ratified, the Aquino Administration, however, sees the need for a review to make sure that the bilateral pact promotes the interest of the country and addresses the contentious issues in the treaty, Ochoa said.

“The Aquino administration believes that the VFA remains in the national interest and is important and useful,” the Executive Secretary.

“However, we are also mindful that after 11 years of existence, it is timely for us to undertake a review of the agreement to ensure that it remains relevant and attuned to our national interest and that it addresses contentious issues, which have arisen in recent years,” he said.

Ochoa also told the Senate that the VFA Commission has already started its work ahead of the review by organizing technical working groups to study specific issues.