Visiting Forces Agreement Importance

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. Duterte`s cabinet also appear to have serious reservations about his VFA decision. They tried to discuss their concerns with him cautiously, but they understood that they probably will not change their minds. In order to make their views more attractive, they probably tried to emphasize the importance of the VFA for maintaining assistance to U.S. special forces in the fight against terrorist operations in the southern Philippines against the jihadists. A Visiting Agreement (VFA) is an agreement between a country and a foreign nation visiting military forces in that country. The agreements on visiting forces are similar in the intention of obtaining the agreements on the armed forces (SOFA). A VFA usually covers forces that are temporarily visiting, while a CANAPÉ usually covers forces in the host country as well as visiting missions. Military cooperation between the United States and the Philippines continued under Duterte, despite his skepticism of bilateral relations. Joint activities and U.S.

assistance include external defence, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. U.S. and Philippine forces participated in some 281 joint activities in 2019. In May 2019, the Philippine Navy participated in the first joint navigation across the South China Sea with the United States, Japan and India. The two sides are continuing preparations for balikatan 2020, the largest regular joint exercise between the United States and the Philippines, scheduled for May, involving nearly 11,000 U.S., Filipino and Australian troops. While we have heard a series of threats of duterte since taking office, the resignation of the Duterte administration toward the VFA is the greatest real threat to the U.S.-Philippine alliance since the president took office. Of course, even if the clock started during the 180-day period, there are still steps to be taken to finalize the step, and since the broader alliance itself would still exist, both sides have the potential to renegotiate the terms of a new VFA agreement further. Nevertheless, it is worth contextualizing the potential importance of the move itself if it actually happens. The main effect of the agreement is that the U.S. government can retain jurisdiction over U.S.

military personnel accused of committing crimes in the Philippines, unless those crimes are “particularly important to the Philippines.” [1] This means that the United States may refuse the detention or arrest of accused personnel in the event of non-significant crimes or prosecute them under U.S. jurisdiction. In accordance with the Agreement on Visiting Forces, local courts have one year to close all judicial proceedings. [4] The agreement also exempts U.S. military personnel from visa and passport provisions in the Philippines. On February 11, 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially announced at the U.S. Embassy in Manila that he was coming to an end to the pact, with the denunciation expected to come into force in 180 days, unless otherwise agreed during that period. In the past, Duterte has shown admiration for both Russian forces and the People`s Liberation Army of China, although the Philippines and China are involved in a dispute in the South China Sea over sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.

[15] In June 2020, the Philippine government reversed this decision and announced that it was maintaining the agreement. [16] Many in the Philippines, particularly in defence and foreign policy institutions, want the VFA to continue. On 6 February 2020, Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin became Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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