On February 11, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Manila would denounce the U.S. and Philippine Visit mission agreement (VFA), an agreement that allows the U.S. military to move to the Philippines. Duterte`s decision was taken in Washington with deep concern about the possible consequences of the Indopapacific Strategy (PDF), which was primarily aimed at countering China`s growing strength. The Philippine Senate ratified the VFA in 1999. To avoid the impression of a permanent deployment of U.S. troops to the Philippines, the Senate emphasized the „visit“ and „temporary“ status of U.S. forces, in line with their 1991 decision to abolish U.S. bases in the Philippines. As a contract for the execution of the VFA, EDCA authorizes the prepositioning of war materials on approved sites.
This includes strengthening the modernization capabilities of the Philippine armed forces. READ: The pH of the military pact with the UNITED States) Many in the Philippines, particularly in defence and foreign policy institutions, want the VFA to be prosecuted. On February 6, 2020, Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. reportedly said at a Philippine Senate hearing that the continuation of the agreement was „more beneficial“ to the Philippines than to end it. Some supporters are trying to avoid President Duterte`s actions. On February 10, the Philippine Senate passed a resolution asking the president to reconsider his intention to repeal the agreement, and on March 2, he passed a resolution asking the Supreme Court to rule on whether the Senate should approve the dissolution of the treaty, which the political statement said is unclear. The presidential palace has announced that it will consider a Supreme Court decision on the matter. Under Article V of the agreement, the custody of U.S. personnel whose case falls under Philippine jurisdiction must „immediately reside with the U.S.
military authorities if they wish“ from the time the crime was committed, until all legal proceedings are completed. However, U.S. military authorities make the accused available to the Philippine authorities „in a timely manner for investigations or judicial proceedings related to the offence.“ First, the Philippine security establishment still appreciates the alliance. Philippine forces continue to benefit from the VFA and receive military assistance, training, training and weapons. And although the Philippine Foreign Minister and Defence Minister mentioned the need to review the agreement and develop an autonomous national defence, the two did not openly ask for an end to the VFA.
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This post was written by Bibi