Philippine leader terminates troop agreement with US

Philippine leader terminates troop agreement with US

Philippine leader terminates troop agreement with US

He refused to provide other details on the drastic step "as a diplomatic courtesy".

The agreement also provides that the Philippines will take primary jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel who commit or are accused of a crime in the country, unless the offense is related to United States security or is only punishable under USA law.

The two Cabinet officials' statements came after Panelo announced on Friday that Duterte had instructed Medialdea to tell Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin send the notice of termination to the USA government.

The termination of the pact is expected to have an impact on joint military exercises which the two countries have carried out to counter China's increasing presence in the South China Sea.

Locsin proposed a review of the agreement to fix contentious issues, including criminal jurisdiction over erring American troops, instead of abrogating it.

The U.S. has 180 days to respond to the notice of the VFA's termination.

The Philippines has notified the US that it's terminating a 22-year-old military agreement, which can be ended with 180-days notice, just hours after President Rodrigo Duterte said President Donald Trump was trying to save the deal. Ronald dela Rosa, a chief architect of Duterte's brutal war on drugs, which has killed thousands and been widely condemned by worldwide human rights watchdogs.

Thousands of mostly poor suspects have been killed under the anti-drug campaign Duterte launched when he took office in mid-2016, alarming the US and other Western governments and human rights watchdogs.

Despite a 69-year alliance between the two nations, solidified by the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, President Duterte has repeatedly lashed out against Washington, specifically after the USA visa of Sen.

Visiting Forces Agreements are usually similar to Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs), but with minor differences.

Supporters of the agreements argue they have deterred Chinese militarisation in the South China Sea and $1.3 billion of USA defence assistance since 1998 has been vital in boosting the capabilities of under-resourced Philippine forces.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs informed us of the Philippines' intent to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)".

The U.S. provided more than $550 million in security assistance to the Philippines from 2016 to 2019, Locsin said, adding that there may be a "chilling effect on our economic relations" if the Philippines draws down its security alliance with Washington.

American forces have provided intelligence, training and aid that allowed the Philippines to deal with human trafficking and terrorism.

The decision, sparked by the revocation of a US visa held by the former police chief who led Duterte's bloody war on drugs, could complicate USA military interests in the Asia-Pacific as China's ambitions rise. Meanwhile, China has been courting the Philippines, as well as other nations in the region, like Cambodia, as part of its effort to seize control of the South China Sea.

Duterte first threatened to abrogate the VFA in late 2016 after a USA aid agency put on hold funds for anti-poverty projects in the Philippines. Joint military activities - including training for thousands of Philippine and American soldiers - will also be severely curtailed, he added.

On Monday, President Duterte rebuffed US President Donald J. Trump and other officials for "trying to save" the VFA from being scrapped.

In discussing his decision to scrap the VFA, Duterte called the USA rude for meddling in the Philippines' local affairs.

Malacañang said United States senators' repeated calls for the release of Senator Leila de Lima - an opposition lawmaker detained on drug charges since 2017 - was also among the reasons for Duterte's move to end the VFA.

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