Agreement of Philippines and America

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In the world of politics, agreements and treaties are essential in building and maintaining relationships between nations. One such agreement that has garnered attention recently is the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States of America.

The VFA is a bilateral agreement signed in 1998 between the two countries that allows US military personnel to enter and exit the Philippines for joint training and exercises. It also serves as a legal framework for the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, which was signed back in 1951, two years after the Philippines gained independence from the US.

For over two decades, the VFA has been the basis for the cooperation between the Philippine and US militaries. It has allowed both forces to conduct joint exercises and training, enhance their capabilities, and address common security concerns such as terrorism, piracy, and disaster response.

However, in February 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his intention to terminate the VFA. The decision came after the US denied a visa to Philippine Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, who was instrumental in Duterte`s controversial war on drugs.

Since then, the fate of the VFA has been uncertain, with both countries sending conflicting signals about the agreement`s future. The US has expressed its desire to keep the VFA in force, citing its importance in maintaining regional security and stability, while the Philippines has insisted on its sovereignty and independence.

While the Philippines has the right to terminate the VFA as a sovereign nation, it should be mindful of the consequences of such action. The VFA has not only facilitated military cooperation between the two countries but also promoted economic and cultural ties. The US is one of the Philippines` largest trading partners, and many Filipinos have relatives and friends living and working in America.

Moreover, the VFA has been crucial in addressing a range of security issues that affect the Philippines, such as the South China Sea dispute, terrorism, and disaster response. Without the VFA, the Philippine military would lose access to US intelligence, equipment, and training, which could weaken its capabilities.

In conclusion, the VFA between the Philippines and the United States is an essential agreement that has benefits for both countries. While the Philippines has the right to terminate it, it should weigh the consequences carefully before doing so. It is essential to maintain good relations with the US, not just for military cooperation but also for economic and cultural ties. At the same time, the US should respect the Philippines` sovereignty and work towards resolving any issues that may arise under the agreement.