US, Philippines to discuss VFA termination this month – Locsin

The United States and the Philippines would discuss the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) abrogation this month, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday.

“I am narrowing down the issues and soon we will meet in the last week of February and iron out whatever differences we have and come to an agreement,” Locsin told ANC in an interview.

However, further details regarding the meeting were not disclosed.

In February 2020, the Philippines formally asked for the termination of the  with the US after it canceled the visa of ally Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.

In June 2020, DFA Secretary announced the Philippines suspended the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) termination with the United States following the instruction of .

However, in November, President Rodrigo  extended for another six months to suspend the abrogation of the Visiting Force Agreement () with the United States amid the continuous tensions in the South China Sea.

Locsin said in a statement in November 2020, will enable both sides “to a more enhanced,  mutually beneficial,  mutually agreeable, and more effective and lasting arrangement  on how to move forward  in our  mutual defense.”

US, Philippines to discuss VFA termination this month – Locsin

In December, Duterte threatened to continue the VFA termination if the US would not give the Philippines access to -19 vaccines.

Last month, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez said Thursday that the Philippines expects to settle issues concerning the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States under the administration of US President Joe Biden.

According to Romualdez, a bilateral dialog between the security forces of the Philippines and the US is planned.

“I’m quite confident na lahat ng mga issues sa ting visiting forces, mare-resolve yan. In fact, may planned bilateral strategic dialog between our Armed Forces and the Pentagon or the US Armed Forces,” Romualdez said.

“This is a continuing program naman. Every year ‘yan nagmi-meet sila. Lahat ng kung anong gusto ipaalam sa ating mga kaibigan sa America ite-take up nila dun. Tuluy-tuloy ang relasyon lalo na yung security relationshiop,” he added.