By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Summit Media

“You have nothing to do this.”

President Rodrigo Duterte addressed this to Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday night over the issue of the Philippines-United States Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)

“I may accept your comments, but please use a language that will promote your person or human being,” Duterte said in his pre-recorded briefing.

Duterte noted Lacson had been posting regarding the issue on social media “without really finding out whether you are part of it or not.”

“I am telling you, you are not. So next time consult a lawyer in your office,” Duterte added.

In a tweet, Lacson took a swipe on Duterte’s remarks by telling the U.S. government that “not all” Filipinos are extortionists who demanded payments for the continuation of the activities under VFA.

He added the President probably wanted to “fair shake of the agreement” though there are “more diplomatic ways” to address it.

Lacson made the tweet as he reacted to Duterte’s pronouncement that if the U.S would want to keep the pact, it would have to pay because it is a “share of responsibility.”

In the same address, the Chief Executive told the lawmaker that the Senate had no function in such matters since the President has the only powers given by the 1987 Constitution to decide on foreign policies.

“Senators have no function at all in the matter of agreements here. It is vested in the president, and it does not need any concurrence from Congress. So the power to abrogate the VFA is in me,” Duterte said.

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