Duterte reaffirms bid to end defence pact with USA: spokesman

US calls Duterte move to end Philippine troop pact 'unfortunate'

US calls Duterte move to end Philippine troop pact 'unfortunate'

Citing information from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Panelo said the United Kingdom is among the possible countries interested in forging a defense agreement with the Philippines.

But defenders of the decades-old agreement say ending it could both degrade the Philippines' ability to defend itself and undermine American moves against Beijing's rise, particularly in the disputed South China Sea.

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.

"Like it or not, bad or good, nothing much can be done now but do a 180-day countdown upon receipt of the notice by Washington", said Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defense.

Senators have been urging President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his position to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.

Ronald dela Rosa has been linked to the campaign in which thousands of suspected drug traffickers have been killed. The president had previously threatened to revoke the military agreement in a row over the USA government cancelling the visa of a top official over human rights violations.

The defence pact sets out rules for USA soldiers to operate in the Philippines and is one of three governing what Washington has called an "ironclad" relationship, despite Duterte's tirades about US hypocrisy, ill-treatment and ageing weapons.

Locsin outlined in the Senate hearing what he said were the crucial security, trade and economic benefits the accord provides.

US troops were on the ground in 2017 aiding the Philippine military during a siege of militants in the southern city of Marawi.

"Trump, and others are trying to save the Visiting Forces Agreement".

As I have noted before in these pages, the U.S. -Philippines alliance, which was born through the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951, is based on a deep and wide-ranging partnership between the two countries and has been no stranger to round of stress-testing including in the defense realm - be it the renegotiation of base agreement terms in the 1970s or the closure of U.S. military facilities in the early 1990s.

"If the VFA is terminated, the EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) can not stand alone, because the basis of the EDCA is the VFA, and if the VFA is terminated, the EDCA can not be effective", Drilon said. In a rambling speech yesterday he said U.S. nuclear weapons were being stored in his country.

Panelo said Duterte's decision was a effect of US legislative and executive actions that "bordered on assaulting our sovereignty and disrespecting our judicial system".

Scrapping the military deal will bring the Southeast Asian nation closer to China, as US support for Philippine military will likely be reduced, said Malcolm Cook, senior fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

Washington does not appear eager to complicate its military presence in this part of the world, as the Philippines remains one of the few places in the Indo-Pacific region where the U.S. has these types of VFA and SOFA agreements.

China, the Philippines, Vietnam and three other governments have rival claims to the strategic waterway.

The 74-year-old Duterte revived his threats to end the military pact with the America last month after the US canceled the visa of his former police chief who oversaw his deadly drug war.

The termination of the agreement may also end joint military exercises such as that held in Zambales in April 2019 where American and Filipino troops held amphibious training.

Aside from threatening to take down the VFA, Duterte has said would ban some USA senators from entering the Philippines.

In discussing his decision to scrap the VFA, Duterte called the U.S. rude for meddling in the Philippines' local affairs. Leila de Lima. This included former police chief now Sen.

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