Philippine leader terminates troop agreement with U.S.

Philippine leader terminates troop agreement with U.S.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon stressed that ending the VFA is as good as terminating two other major military agreements - the Mutual Defense Treaty, which states that each country would come to the defense of the other in case of an attack by a foreign country, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allows the USA military to use and control five bases in the Philippines.

The 1999 VFA pact exempts USA military personnel from passport and visa regulations when they come and go for joint exercises and training of troops in the Philippines.

In a Senate hearing last week, Locsin warned that abrogating the 1998 security accord with Washington would undermine Philippine security and foster aggression in the disputed South China Sea.

The termination of the agreement may also end joint military exercises such as that held in Zambales in April 2019 where American and Filipino troops held amphibious training. -Philippine alliance since the president took office. The termination would take effect after 180 days unless both sides agree to keep it. Nonetheless, it is worth contextualizing the potential significance of the move itself if it does indeed occur.

In a press statement sent to Palace reporters on Sunday night, Panelo said it is "amusing" that some media outlets are claiming that Cabinet officials are contradicting one another about the President's order to issue a notice of termination for the VFA. Among its controversial provisions are the lax visa and passport policies for American troops and the authority granted to the USA government to retain jurisdiction over military personnel if ever they commit crimes locally. -Philippine defense cooperation, which has actually been improving by some measures despite Duterte's threats.

He has argued that the presence of United States forces makes the Philippines a potential target for aggression.

"The termination of the VFA would have a negative, if not shattering impact on regional security in Southeast Asia". For Washington, while alliance management has never been an easy affair, this would constitute the biggest blow to any of its treaty alliance relationships in Asia since the end of the Cold War, at precisely the time when the United States is trying to refocus itself on geopolitical competition with major powers, principally China and Russian Federation.

The move also follows Duterte's repeated, unfulfilled threats to shrink or even sever the nation's ties with its former colonial master and most important military ally. Just $5 a month. He came into office executing a dramatic pivot away from the USA and toward China, an increasingly strong regional player. The Philippines insisted that the scrapping of the agreement was influenced by what Manila perceived as Washington's alleged meddling in its domestic affairs. -Philippine alliance may not rank as highly in terms of policy prioritization relative to Washington's alliances with Japan or South Korea.

February 10, 2020: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 11th Biennial National Convention and 22nd founding anniversary of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc.in Manila, Philippines. And given China's previous record of capitalizing on the erosion of the U.S.

The decision, sparked by the revocation of a US visa held by the former police chief who led Duterte's bloody war on drugs, could complicate USA military interests in the Asia-Pacific as China's ambitions rise.

To be sure, amid the hype, it is worth noting that much still remains uncertain about how the process of terminating the VFA will actually play out.

On the other hand, the United States takes primary jurisdiction over their personnel if they commit offenses against U.S. property or security or against fellow USA personnel and their property.

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