Vice Mayor Rommel Agan said Monday it would be “a great loss” for this city if President Rodrigo Duterte scraps the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.
Agan noted that the U.S. has been a long-time ally of the Philippines and the city has received numerous assistance such as equipment for the police and the military.
“We appreciate the assistance we received from our ally (America); we even benefited from them during the 2013 siege. For so long, we have very good relations with the US. It’s going to be a great loss,” Agan said.
However, he said foreign relations and matters of national security should best be left to the concerned departments of the national government to address the issue.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar earlier noted that the US has also done more to improve the Zamboanga International Airport, specifically during the time of then US Ambassador Kristie Kenney.
Local officials noted that the US has provided the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with weapons and other war materiel and bomb suits, including robotic equipment to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Capt. Edwin Duco, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) information officer, said they have also benefited from the US in terms of capability training.
However, Duco said they will submit to the “wisdom of the President” matters relating to foreign relations. (PNA)