Widget not in any sidebars
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 United States could also take the opportunity to renegotiate a new, better-value agreement with the Philippines – one that meets President Duterte`s goal of being strong against the United States and the other that gives President Trump the opportunity to mark another important deal, this time a defense deal, with its unique footprint that could advance U.S. interests for years. Although Duterte threatened to outsmart U.S. forces in 2016, he clearly benefits from U.S. military assistance in counterterrorism operations.
What is this agreement and why is it so important to the United States? Here`s what you need to know. Andrew Yeo is an associate professor of politics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and is currently a fulbright Visiting Research Fellow at the University of the Philippines Diliman. His most recent book is “Asia`s Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century” (Stanford University Press, 2019). Is Duterte really going to finish the VFA? According to most reports, he remains seriously in his desire to eliminate the agreement. But here`s why the VFA and the AMéricano-Philippine alliance could survive the Duterte firestorm. In many host countries, the VFA can become an important political issue as a result of crimes allegedly committed by members of the visitation service. This is especially true when it comes to serious crimes such as theft, murder, manslaughter or sexual crime, especially when the charge is defined differently between the two nations.
For example, in 2005, four U.S. Marines were charged in the Philippines with raping a native woman they had been drinking with. As the incident had nothing to do with the military duties of the accused, they were charged under Philippine law before a Philippine court that convicted one of the accused and acquitted the others. The Philippines-U.S. Visiting Agreement, sometimes the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which consists of two separate documents. The first of these documents is commonly referred to as “VFA” or “VFA-1″ and the second is referred to as “VFA-2” or “counterparty agreement.”  A Visiting Forces Agreement is a version of an agreement on the status of the armed forces that applies only to troops temporarily stationed in a country.