Duterte to US on VFA: ‘No vaccine, better get out’

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 26) — President Rodrigo Duterte said that he will continue with the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) if the United States government fails to produce at least 20 million vaccines for the Philippines.

During his meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Saturday night, Duterte said he wants the US troops out of Philippine soil if they cannot provide the vaccine.

“Yung Visiting Forces Agreement, matatapos na. Ngayon, pag hindi ako pumayag, aalis talaga sila,” Duterte said.

[Translation: The Visiting Forces Agreement will be ending. If I don’t extend it, they will really leave.]

The government suspended the abrogation of the VFA in June. The suspension has a validity of six months and will last until December.

However, this could be extended for another half a year, based on a diplomatic note previously shared by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Jr.

“Kung hindi sila maka deliver maski a minimum of mga 20 million vaccines, they better get out. No vaccine, no stay here,” Duterte said on Saturday.

[Translation: If they do not deliver even a minimum of 20 million vaccines, they better go out. Leave if they have no vaccine.]

Locsin earlier confirmed that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has committed to help the Philippines secure COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer.