Vfa, Duterte Vfa, Visiting Forces Agreement, Duterte Us, Duterte China, Duterte West Philippine Sea, South China Sea, Us Philippines, Philippines China, China Us, Maritime Row, Defense, Duterte Fully Restores Troop Pact With United States | Abs-Cbn News

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Duterte fully restores troop pact with United States

Senate President @sotto_tito on PRRD's retraction of VFA termination: I concur. Good move! | via @sherieanntorres Related story:

7/30/2021 8:31:00 AM

Senate President sotto_tito on PRRD's retraction of VFA termination: I concur. Good move! | via sherieanntorres Related story:

President Rodrigo Duterte has restored a pact governing the presence of US troops in the Philippines, the two countries' defense ministers said on Friday, reversing a decision that had caused increasing concern in Washington and Manila.

The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) provides rules for the rotation of thousands of US troops in and out of the Philippines for war drills and exercises. It has assumed additional importance as the United States and its allies contend with an increasingly assertive China.

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Duterte had last year said he was cancelling the VFA but had extended it until December.Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he was unsure why Duterte had reversed himself but made the decision after meeting US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Manila on Thursday.

Watch more on iWantTFC The Philippines is a US treaty ally, and several military agreements are dependent on the VFA.Duterte vowed to terminate the pact after the United States denied a visa to a Philippine senator who is an ally of the president. But he had repeatedly pushed back the expiration date, the last time last month, maintaining it until the end of the year.  headtopics.com

For the United States, having the ability to rotate in troops is important not only for the defense of the Philippines, but strategically when it comes to countering China's assertive behavior in the region."(Duterte's decision) opens up significant possibilities for strengthening the alliance that were otherwise closed," said Greg Poling of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

There are long-standing tensions between the Philippines and China over disputed waters in the South China Sea.The United States this month repeated a warning to China that an attack on Philippine forces in the South China Sea would trigger a 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

There are, however, still questions about Duterte's unpredictability."Some of the celebration is premature... (the VFA) will continue to be under threat so long as Duterte remains president," said Aaron Connelly, with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Philippine presidential elections are set for 2022 and while Duterte is barred by the constitution from seeking re-election, his party has been encouraging him to run again for office, as vice president. Duterte's decision "is based on upholding PH strategic core interests, the clear definition of PH-US alliance as one between sovereign equals, and clarity of US position on its obligations and commitments under MDT," said his spokesman Harry Roque.  headtopics.com

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