Wednesday, 12 February 2020 00:00

Philippines Out Of Military Agreement With US

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Philippine relations with the United States are entering a new phase. Indonesia's neighboring country has terminated its membership of the Visiting Forces Agreement-VFA, which is a military cooperation between the two countries. Duterte's decision that the Philippines left the VFA had been conveyed to the United States government. Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin has confirmed that it has been conveyed and received by the deputy head of the diplomatic mission at the US Embassy in Manila.

The reason for the termination of Manila from VFA membership is because Washington refused a visa for Ronald Dela Rosa, who is a political ally of Duterte.

The VFA military cooperation agreement was  in effect satrting 1998. Through this collective agreement the Philippines has received thousands of US military forces in the country  for military training and humanitarian operations. Therefore, the United States responded quite cautiously to President Duterte's steps.

As quoted by the Associated Press news agency, the United States Embassy in Manila stated the need to consider this issue very carefully. According to  the US,  Duterte's decision could have significant implications in  relations between the two countries, which has been going well so far. On the other hand, Washington also has not explained what is the reason for refusing the visa application of a person close to President Duterte. Ronald de La Rosa is a former national police chief who is now a senator. During his time as chief of police, the Philippines fought a war with drug dealers. Because of this, a number of Philippine officials suspected that his visa rejection was related to the drug war that had been criticized by the United States. Washington itself, until the termination of membership from VFA military cooperation by Duterte, still has not explained the reason.

However Washington certainly is seriously considering terminating military cooperation by President Duterte. Because the United States views its military presence in the Philippines as a counterweight to China's military strength in the South China Sea region.

The United States still has 180 days before answering President Duterte's decision. Interestingly, the Philippine President has shown who he is against the United States which is actually a super power. The Philippines and America are even known to have a history of close relations so far. However, if deemed necessary it seems the Philippines did not hesitate to show its firm attitude to the United States.

Read 28 times Last modified on Friday, 14 February 2020 09:31