Philippines US relations - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Philippines US relations

ARTICLE FINDER

U.S. State Department approves possible sale of attack helicopters to PH

May 01, 2020 - 7:31 PM

To give the Philippine military a much-needed boost in air power, the government is looking to buy 6 attack helicopters from US-based suppliers

ATTACK HELICOPTERS. The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter by Bell Helicopters. Photo from the Bell Helicopters website

Pompeo urges ASEAN to call out Beijing's moves in South China Sea during pandemic

Apr 23, 2020 - 7:59 PM

'The U.S. strongly opposes China’s bullying and we hope other nations will hold them to account too,' says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

KAGITINGAN REEF. This satellite image dated January 1, 2018, shows Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

U.S. donates P203 million to help PH fight coronavirus outbreak

Apr 01, 2020 - 4:46 PM

Health assistance will go to preparing laboratories for processing of coronavirus tests as well as surveillance efforts to trace possible coronavirus cases

OUTBREAK RESPONSE. The Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital on March, 30, 2020, installs plastic dividers to separate health workers from patients as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Balikatan exercises canceled because of coronavirus

Mar 27, 2020 - 12:44 PM

(UPDATED) What would have been the last iteration of the yearly drills between Filipino and American forces has been called off to protect soldiers’ health, says the US Indo-Pacific Command

PH-US WAR GAMES. This file photo shows US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts joining forces in an Amphibious Landing operation as part of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Rappler Talk: Ex-VFA chief Edilberto Adan on cutting the military pact with the U.S.

Mar 18, 2020 - 12:45 PM

Bookmark this page: Former Visiting Forces Agreement Commission executive director Edilberto Adan talks about the importance of the military deal and the impact of its repeal

U.S. admiral on VFA repeal: A little disappointing but relationship not lost

Mar 07, 2020 - 9:08 AM

US Pacific Fleet Commander John Aquilino is leading a port call of the aircraft carrier strike group Theodore Roosevelt in Vietnam, which uncharacteristically skipped the Philippines in its Indo-Pacific voyage

AIRCRAFT CARRIER. The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Manila Bay on April 11, 2018. File photo by Rappler

Choose U.S. or China? Carpio offers 3rd way

Feb 28, 2020 - 4:06 PM

Terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement will make the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement useless, says retired justice Antonio Carpio

Terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement will make the MDT hollow and EDCA useless, says former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio  Photo by Carmela Fonbuena

Hope for VFA? 'Door is not totally shut,' says PH envoy to US

Feb 28, 2020 - 12:46 PM

'We cannot ignore a country like the US,' says Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez

"We cannot ignore a country like the US," says Ambassador Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena

Can PH defend itself without U.S. help? We can, we will, we should – AFP

Feb 27, 2020 - 9:34 PM

The die is cast, says the military

TREATY ALLIES. Filipino and American soldiers during the annual Balikatan joint military exercises. Rappler file photo

Duterte insists VFA repeal not a ‘knee-jerk reaction’

Feb 26, 2020 - 10:16 PM

‘I am the most deliberate. That’s why I’m awake until 6 o’clock, just thinking of what I have to do,’ says the President

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte sings the Philippine National Anthem during the Philippine Air Force Change of Command ceremony at the Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on January 16, 2020. Malacañang photo

Makati Business Club: 'Strong' U.S. ties important for PH economy, security

Feb 21, 2020 - 4:59 PM

The Makati Business Club expresses concern over the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, saying it may 'affect other security agreements'

ALLIES NO MORE? The Philippine and US flags during the opening ceremony of the yearly Balikatan joint military exercises in April 2016. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

LIVE: Senate hearing on Senate concurrence in ending treaties

Feb 20, 2020 - 10:03 AM

Watch the Senate hearing live on Rappler

'Fortunately,' there won’t be pushback from military over VFA – Trillanes

Feb 19, 2020 - 8:10 PM

The former Navy sailor who led two mutinies says the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a professional institution, and will weather the President’s order to repeal the pact with its biggest military ally

FIREBRAND. Former Navy officer and senator Antonio Trillanes IV. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

No more VFA? PH, U.S. ‘will work out something else’ – Romualdez

Feb 18, 2020 - 7:22 PM

Nothing’s certain, but based on history, the two countries will figure out a way to move bilateral relations forward, says the Philippine ambassador to the US

PRESENTING CREDENTIALS. Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel 'Babe' Romualdez presents his credentials to US President Donald Trump on November 29, 2017. Photo courtesy of Romualdez's office

Senators to question VFA termination at Supreme Court

Feb 16, 2020 - 6:35 PM

No less than Senate President Vicente Sotto III is preparing the petition raising the need for Senate concurrence in ending treaties

SENATE CONCURRENCE. Led by Senate President Vicente Sotto, veteran senators are set to file a petition before the Supreme Court to raise the question of Senate concurrence before ending treaties. Photo by Joseph Vidal/PRIB

[OPINION | NEWSPOINT] Where is the outrage?

Feb 15, 2020 - 11:42 AM

The case takes a Shakespearean quality. King Rodrigo swings away with his sword screaming, proffering a crazy deal: the VFA for an American visa for a favorite horse – Bato de la Rosa.

PH-US break-up on Valentine's week

Feb 14, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Need we ask who – or which country – is the third party?

Environment group lauds VFA termination, cites toxic waste U.S. troops left behind

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:29 PM

Ending the key military pact with the US is the first step towards exacting justice for thousands of Filipinos whose health suffered because of the hazardous waste the US military left behind in its former bases, says Kalikasan

ENVIRONMENT HAZARD. The activist group Kalikasan lauds the termination of the Philippines' Visiting Forces Agreement with the US, which allowed for military exercises that were an environment hazard, the group says. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

'Stop whining,' Locsin says after PH sends notice of VFA termination

Feb 13, 2020 - 8:23 PM

'Time to grow up,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

DFA CHIEf. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr during a Senate hearing on the Philippines-United States Visiting Forces Agreement  on February 6, 2020. Photo by Voltaire F Domingo/Senate PRIB

Panelo contradicts Panelo: No Trump, Duterte phone call after all

Feb 13, 2020 - 5:56 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo admits to reporters there was no scheduled call to begin with

FRIENDS. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump share a light moment prior to their bilateral meeting at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City in November 2017. Malacañang file photo

No more military exercises with U.S. when VFA lapses – Lorenzana

Feb 13, 2020 - 12:47 PM

Although planned joint exercises may still continue in the next 6 months, there won’t be any when the termination of the military pact takes effect, says the defense chief

JOINT DRILLS. A Philippine Marine soldier watches as amphibious assault vehicles approach the beach in Ternate, Cavite, during the 2019 Kamandag joint exercises with the US. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Robredo to Duterte: Why so quick to act on VFA but slow on novel coronavirus?

Feb 12, 2020 - 11:13 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo questions the President's motive for scrapping the VFA, especially since members of his own Cabinet warned that it would largely be against the Philippines' own interests

WHY HURRY? Vice President Leni Robredo questions President Rodrigo Duterte's "hasty" move to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US. Photo by Charlie Villegas/OVP

VFA termination a 'national tragedy,' says Del Rosario

Feb 12, 2020 - 4:01 PM

'It is not what we do; it is not what is right,' says former foreign secretary Albert Del Rosario, urging the Duterte government to reconsider its decision

HARMFUL DECISION. Former Philippine foreign secretary Albert del Rosario urges the Duterte government to reconsider its decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

U.S. defense chief: Terminating VFA 'a move in the wrong direction'

Feb 12, 2020 - 12:37 PM

(UPDATED) Losing the Visiting Forces Agreement would be a setback in countering China’s aggression in the Asia Pacific region, says US Defense Secretary Mark Esper

PENTAGON CHIEF. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper during the wreath-laying ceremony at the American Cemetery in Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Military members disagree with VFA termination – senior officers

Feb 11, 2020 - 8:21 PM

Scrapping the key military pact with the US is disadvantageous to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, say two senior military officers who spoke on condition of anonymity

END OF AN ERA? A Filipino marine and his American counterpart watch a US Osprey fly by during a joint military exercise in Ternate, Cavite, in October 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

TIMELINE: Duterte's threats to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement

Feb 11, 2020 - 7:26 PM

The Philippines' notice it is terminating the military pact triggers a 180-day countdown until the agreement expires. How did we get here?

COMMANDER IN CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-appointed government officials at Malacañang on February 6, 2020. Malacañang photo

PH notice of VFA termination to have 'significant implications' on relations, says U.S.

Feb 11, 2020 - 6:05 PM

The United States says it will 'carefully consider' its next moves as it 'remains committed' to its friendship with the Philippines

BALIKATAN. Philippine and US soldiers hold an amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise in Zambales on April 11, 2019. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

In whose interest? Netizens question gov't scrapping of VFA

Feb 11, 2020 - 5:22 PM

‘Behold this President, his personal issues over [the] nation’s welfare,’ one netizen says

What will happen to PH military if the VFA is terminated?

Feb 11, 2020 - 4:04 PM

Can joint military exercises with American troops continue without the Visiting Forces Agreement? At the very least, mounting them would become a lot more difficult.

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine and US military troops during a ceremony to open their yearly Balikatan joint exercises. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

Philippines sends VFA notice of termination to U.S.

Feb 11, 2020 - 12:43 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 'The Executive Secretary sent the message to Secretary Teddyboy Locsin and the latter signed the notice of termination as sent to the US government today,' says Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

PHILIPPINE CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the thanksgiving gathering with The Fraternal Order of Eagles (TFOE) at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City on January 17, 2020. Malacañang Photo

PH-U.S. military operations could ‘disappear’ if VFA scrapped – U.S. official

Feb 11, 2020 - 11:46 AM

Some 300 joint activities between Philippine and U.S. forces require the VFA as a basis for operations, says U.S. Assistant Secretary of State R. Clarke Cooper

JOINT EXERCISES. The Philippine and US militaries hold roughly 300 joint activities every year as part of their security alliance. File photo by Dennis M. Sabangan/EPA

Senate urges Duterte to reconsider plan to scrap VFA

Feb 10, 2020 - 11:34 PM

Senators say they should first review the ramifications of withdrawing from the agreement that allows for the presence of US military troops in the Philippines

TREATY ALLIES. The Philippine and US flags during the opening ceremony of the yearly Balikatan joint military exercises in April 2016. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

With VFA uncertain, Duterte lashes out at U.S. once again

Feb 10, 2020 - 10:22 PM

'Si Trump pati 'yung others are trying to save the Visiting Forces Agreement. Sabi ko, ayaw ko,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

COMMANDER IN CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang Palace to preside over the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police Command Conference on February 6, 2020. Malacañang photo

No order from Duterte yet to terminate VFA – Lorenzana

Feb 08, 2020 - 4:57 PM

'This is fake news,' says the defense secretary about Salvador Panelo's claim that the President has taken steps to instruct Foreign Secretary Locsin to send the notice of termination to the US

DEFENSE CHIEF. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the Senate hearing on the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States on February 6, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

FULL TEXT: Locsin on impact assessment of VFA termination

Feb 06, 2020 - 9:16 PM

What is at stake and is the Philippines ready to terminate the VFA?

DFA CHIEF. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. during the Senate hearing on the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States on February 6, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

[PODCAST] Dapat nga bang ibasura na ang Visiting Forces Agreement?

Feb 06, 2020 - 7:43 PM

Ano ang posibleng implikasyon ng pagbasura ng VFA?

Locsin: Risky for PH to terminate visiting forces agreement with U.S.

Feb 06, 2020 - 3:04 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the 'continuance of the agreement is deemed to be more beneficial' to the country

DFA CHIEF. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. during the Senate hearing on the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States on February 6, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

With threats to scrap VFA, Duterte gambles Philippines' security

Feb 06, 2020 - 10:00 AM

Duterte's latest outburst against the US isolates the country from its oldest ally and sows uncertainty against the threat of any Chinese aggression

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes one of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) personnel, who was conferred with the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kamagi at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on January 13, 2020. The President honored the PMC personnel who took part in the liberation of Marawi City from the terrorists. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

LIVE: Senate hearing on PH-U.S. Visiting Forces Agreement

Feb 06, 2020 - 7:49 AM

Watch the hearing live on Rappler

With VFA uncertain, U.S. envoy hails military alliance with PH at WW2 event

Feb 03, 2020 - 3:33 PM

US Ambassador Sung Kim highlights the benefits to Filipinos of US military presence, now threatened by the President’s order to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement

US ENVOY. US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the University of Santo Tomas Internment Camp during the final days of World War 2 in 1945. Photo from the US Embassy in the Philippines

PH, U.S. armies look to 'future engagements' amid Duterte order to scrap VFA

Jan 31, 2020 - 10:53 AM

Joint activities between Philippine and US forces continue as the Duterte administration moves to terminate the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement

JOINT EXERCISE. Philippine and US soldiers hold counter-terrorism drills in Palawan as part of their Balance Piston 20-1 joint training from January 26 to February 23, 2020. Photo from the Philippine Army

Año: Cabinet will abide by Duterte’s U.S. travel ban

Jan 30, 2020 - 3:35 PM

The interior secretary, who says his US visa remains valid, believes the prohibition would exclude emergencies, such as illness requiring medical treatment in the US

NO U.S. TRAVEL? Interior Secretary Eduardo Año says he and other members of the Cabinet will abide by President Rodrigo Duterte's order prohibiting them from traveling to the U.S. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

No personal U.S. trips for Cabinet members too, says Panelo

Jan 30, 2020 - 2:55 PM

'We have to defer to the President's wishes,' says Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

NO US VACATIONS. President RodrigoDuterte and the members of the Cabinet at the start of the 45th Cabinet Meeting in Malacañang Palace on January 6, 2020. Malacañang photo

Duterte prohibits Cabinet members from traveling to U.S.

Jan 29, 2020 - 8:45 PM

'Parang boycott,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

NO U.S. TRAVEL. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 45th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañang Palace on January 6, 2020. Malacañang photo

Lawmakers hit VFA termination, urge DFA to give Duterte 'sound' advice

Jan 29, 2020 - 6:30 PM

'Are we going to sacrifice the gains that we have made with the US-Philippine relationship just because of the cancellation of the visa of one senator?' asks Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel

BALIKATAN. Philippine and US soldiers hold an amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise in Zambales on April 11, 2019. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

Panelo to U.S.: State reason for Dela Rosa's canceled visa 'out of courtesy'

Jan 28, 2020 - 2:50 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says the United States should give an explanation since there should be courtesy 'among allies'

'COURTESY.' Presidential Chief Legal Counsel and Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says the United States should disclose why it cancelled Senator Ronald Dela Rosa's visa. Malacañang file photo

Malacañang downplays possibility of U.S. terminating other military pacts

Jan 27, 2020 - 6:39 PM

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo says the Duterte government is not concerned the United States may terminate other military treaties following the Philippines' move to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement

PH-US WAR GAMES. This file photo shows US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts joining forces in an Amphibious Landing operation as part of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises made possible by the VFA. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Del Rosario urges Duterte to meet Trump, discuss military pact

Jan 27, 2020 - 3:26 PM

Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario says that while the Visiting Forces Agreement is 'imperfect,' it is 'essential' for the Philippine-US defense alliance

PH-US RELATIONS. Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario urges President Rodrigo Duterte to talk to US President Donald Trump. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Malacañang asks for 'impact assessment' on VFA termination

Jan 27, 2020 - 11:49 AM

Is the termination on hold? Guevarra says President Duterte threatened but did not order to terminate the VFA

JOINT DRILLS. The Philippine Marines and US forces opened the 3rd KAMANDAG joint exercises at Subic Bay International Airport on October 9, 2019. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler.com

DOJ: Effects of VFA termination on EDCA, Mutual Defense Treaty have to be studied

Jan 25, 2020 - 2:24 PM

The justice department is ready with its memorandum on the legal procedures to terminate the 20-year-old VFA

Philippine and American soldier unite as they conducts the amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise held at Naval Education Training Command (NETC) in Zambales on 11 April 2019. Photo by: Lito Boras/Rappler