Will the Philippine-US military alliance survive Duterte and Trump?

MANILA — In mid-March, Philippine and American military officials met at Camp Aguinaldo in Manila to confront the biggest question currently facing their alliance: What to do after Aug. 9? The date marks the official termination of their Visiting Forces Agreement, 180 days after Manila served the notice of repeal to its lone mutual-defense treaty ally. “The unilateral abrogation of the VFA has triggered a major crisis in the alliance,” said Renato De Castro, a regional security expert and professor at De La Salle University in Manila, during a recent…

Duterte says he might seek China’s help on COVID-19 outbreak

Duterte says he might seek China’s help on COVID-19 outbreak Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) – March 12, 2020 – 10:06pm MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday evening said he is open to accepting China’s offer of help amid the outbreak of COVID-19 if the situation in the country escalates. “You know, President Xi Jinping…wrote me a letter and said that he is willing to help. All we have to do is to ask,” the president said in a speech. “Ako ang tingin ko (In my opinion), maybe…

Water Wars: Duterte Disdains Detente, Departs Defense Deal

On Feb. 11, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his intent to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) that governs the legal status of U.S. military personnel on short-term deployments in the Philippines and sets consistent parameters for U.S. military personnel’s in-country operations. Duterte has long harbored suspicions about the U.S. military presence in his country and claimed a day prior to the announcement that the U.S. was using its presence in the Philippines to secretly store nuclear weapons. The U.S. and the Philippines originally signed the VFA in 1998; it…

Nation’s US relations soar thanks to Duterte

By Huang Tien-lin 黃天麟 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is taking extreme measures again, announcing his decision to end the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US, which has been in place for 21 years. The agreement allows for a unilateral notice to end the pact, which then ceases after 180 days. Since it is the cornerstone of Philippine-US military cooperation, the decision is a direct challenge to the White House. The abolition would void two other agreements between the nations: the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. It…

Duterte’s decision to end the alliance with the US is reckless | Rodrigo Duterte

“In this venue, your honours, I announce my separation from the United States,” thundered Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during his historic visit to China in 2016. At the time, few, including members of his inner circle, took the remarks seriously, never mind literally. In mid-February, however, Duterte effectively ended the country’s century-old alliance with the US by unilaterally abrogating the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a linchpin of security cooperation in recent decades. As one top Filipino official put it, without the VFA the Philippines’s alliance with the world’s superpower is “practically useless”. Duterte’s latest move,…

How Duterte Turned the Philippines Into China’s New Play Thing

Contemplating on the geopolitical earthquake of the twentieth century, namely the collapse of the once-mighty Soviet Empire, Francis Fukuyama emphasized the necessity for distinguishing between ‘what is essential and what is contingent or accidental in world history’. Drawing on the works of G. W .F. Hegel (via Alexandre Kojève) and Plato, Fukuyama foresaw the twenty-first century as the age of Western triumphalism, a unique era marked by the world’s post-ideological embrace of democratic capitalism as the only game in town. Inspired by the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, he came to…

Buchanan: If Duterte wants us out, let’s go – Opinion – News Chief

President Trump has been given a historic opportunity to reshape U.S. and Asia policy along the lines he ran on in 2016. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has just given us notice he will be terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement that governs U.S. military personnel in the islands. His notification starts the clock running on a six-month deadline. If no new agreement is negotiated, the VFA is dissolved. What triggered the decision? Duterte was offended that one of his political allies who led his anti-drug campaign in the islands, which involves…

Duterte Does The Right Thing For A Change – OpEd

By Walden Bello* Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s termination of a key military pact with the United States, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), which governed the deployment of US troops in the country, has evoked varied responses. In some liberal and progressive circles, the move provoked trepidation owing to Duterte’s perceived closeness to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Others were disoriented by the fact that the agent of a change they had long wanted had also been responsible for thousands of extrajudicial executions in his “war on drugs.” Adding to the confusion was…