Philippines to Scrap Agreement on Us Troops

In a recent development, the Philippines has announced its decision to scrap a two-decade-old agreement that allows US troops to train in the country. The move comes in the wake of escalating tensions between the US and China and has raised concerns about the future of US-Philippines relations.

The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was signed between the US and the Philippines in 1998, which allowed US troops to conduct joint military exercises with their Philippine counterparts. The agreement also outlines the legal status of US troops visiting the Philippines and provides guidelines for their conduct.

The Philippine government has been considering the possibility of scrapping the VFA since last year, but the recent decision was triggered by the US’s decision to cancel the visa of a Philippine senator who has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte`s war on drugs.

Many critics of the VFA in the Philippines had long argued that it undermined the country`s sovereignty and gave the US too much leeway in its operations on Pilipino soil. Some also saw it as an unequal relationship that benefited the US military while providing little benefit to the Philippines.

The scrapping of the VFA has raised concerns about the future of US-Philippines relations. The agreement was seen as a cornerstone of the alliance between the two countries and played a significant role in maintaining regional security.

The US embassy in Manila has said that the move would have serious implications for US-Philippines relations and could negatively impact the fight against terrorism in the region. Without the VFA, US troops would have limited opportunities to train with their Philippine counterparts and would be subject to Philippine law.

The Philippine government has said that the decision to scrap the VFA is final and that it would not reconsider its decision. This move could lead to a shift in the balance of power in the region, with China potentially gaining more influence in the Philippines.

In conclusion, the scrapping of the Visiting Forces Agreement is a significant development in US-Philippines relations and raises many questions about the future of regional security. The decision is a reminder that alliances between countries are often complex and require constant negotiation and compromise.