Philippines suspends VFA termination upon Duterte’s instruction

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DFA Secretary announced Tuesday the Philippines suspended the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) termination with the United States following the instruction of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

The suspension, however, is only six months from June 1, and it would be “extendible by the Philippines for another six months.”

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“I issued this diplomatic note to the US ambassador. It has been received by Washington and well at that. The Note is self-explanatory and does not require comment except from me,” DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted.

“The abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement has been suspended upon the President’s instruction,” he added.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America and has the honor to inform the Embassy that in light of political and other developments in the region, the termination of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America Regarding the Treatment of United States Forces Visiting the Philippines contained in Note 20-0463 dated 11 February 2020 is hereby suspended,” the DFA Manila further said in a communication memo.

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“The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines presents avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the United States of America the assurance of its highest consideration,” it added.

Also read: Duterte confident China will not attack Philippines after VFA termination

Philippines suspends VFA termination

The United States meanwhile welcomed the Philippine government’s decision on suspending the VFA termination and said it looks forward to the continued military ties between the two countries. 

“The United States welcomes the Philippine government’s decision. Our long-standing alliance has benefited both countries, and we look forward to continued close security and defense cooperation with the Philippines,” the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement released shortly after the DFA’s chief’s tweet.

The Palace earlier said Duterte’s position on the VFA abrogation is final and will not change.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) termination between the US and the Philippines is okay with him and that it would save his country a lot of money.

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