PH sends VFA termination notice to US

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 11, 2020   •   915

The Philippines has officially sent its notice of termination of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA )to the United States (US).

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. confirmed that the Embassy of the United States has received the notice of termination.

The termination will take place 180 days after the US received the signed notice based on the Article IX of the VFA agreement

“This agreement shall remain in force until the expiration of 180 days from the date on which either party gives the other party notice in writing that it desires to terminate the agreement,” according to Article IX.

According to Malacañang it is time for the Philippines to stop depending on other countries for strengthening its defenses.

“As the President said, it’s about time we rely on our own resources,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said US President Donald Trump is still attempting to save the VFA.

However, the Chief Executive reiterated his stand on the VFA termination saying the VFA termination is due to the “meddling” of the US in Philippine affairs particularly the case of former Senator Leila de Lima.

“Imagine demanding the release of De Lima and their threat […] may (there is a) colatilla that all persons who had a hand in the imprisonment of De Lima will not be allowed to go to US,” Duterte said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Suspension of VFA abrogation means more time to review agreement – DND

Marje Pelayo   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) expressed full support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for another six months.

“Our bilateral cooperation with the U.S. is geared towards upholding our national interest and to the extent necessary to enhance the Philippines’ defense capability,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement.

Lorenzana added that with the additional six months, the DND “will further review the pros and cons of the VFA” to help the Commander in Chief “arrive at an informed decision on the matter”.

The Philippines – United States Visiting Forces Agreement was signed in 1998 and was ratified the following year.

It allows joint military trainings between American and Filipino soldiers in the Philippine territory and governs the behavior of US troops while they are in the Philippines.

Duterte’s decision to terminate the VFA came after the US government terminated Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s travel visa due to alleged human rights violations during his stint as the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.  Dela Rosa is a close ally of Duterte.

US welcomes 6-month extension of VFA abrogation

Marje Pelayo   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has once again extended the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States by another six months which the US responded to positively.

In a statement, the United States Embassy in the Philippines welcomes the decision saying “Our alliance continues to contribute not only to the security of our two nations, but also strengthens the rules-based order that benefits all nations in the Indo-Pacific.”

On Monday (June 14), Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said President Duterte extended the termination process of the VFA to give it a deeper study “while both sides address his concerns regarding particular aspects of the agreement.”

The Philippines–United States Visiting Forces Agreement sets a legal framework for the presence of American troops in the country while they conduct joint military exercises.

In February 2020, President Duterte terminated the agreement though the termination process was suspended in June last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalation of conflicts in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine government again held it off again in November 2020.

Duterte extends suspension of abrogation of VFA

Maris Federez   •   June 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr, on Monday, announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the suspension of the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States of America.

Locsin made the announcement through a video message via Twitter on Monday night, stating the president’s decision to extend the suspension of the revocation of the agreement for another six months.

He said the president conveyed his decision during a meeting with him and Philippine Ambassador to the USA Jose Romualdez.

Locsin said the president will be studying the matter as “both sides further address his concerns regarding particular aspects of the agreement.”


Last February 2021, the president stated that he was undecided on the fate of the VFA, saying that he wants to get the public’s input on the controversial defense deal. —/mbmf (with details from Nel Maribojoc)


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