VFA - updates

Rappler's latest stories on VFA

ARTICLE FINDER

'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

DJ Chacha slams Dela Rosa: Just resign and be Duterte's bodyguard

Feb 19, 2020 - 2:28 PM

'When you're a public servant and your loyalty is towards a person and not towards the country, ang tawag diyan, tuta,' she says

'DO YOUR JOB.' The radio CJ chides Senator dela Rosa for his apparently loyalty to the president, above all. Photo from DJ Chacha's Twitter

Russia denies envoy’s meeting with PH military chief related to VFA repeal

Feb 19, 2020 - 1:07 PM

Ties between the Philippines and Russia are independent of any third party, says Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev

COURTESY CALL. Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev meets with AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr at Camp Aguinaldo on February 17, 2020. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

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

Trump 'fine' with VFA termination? 'He deserves to be reelected,' says Duterte

Feb 16, 2020 - 12:12 AM

Malacañang says President Duterte 'is glad that the American President understands and respects his decision to end the Visiting Forces Agreement'

LIKE DUTERTE. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte again likens himself to US President Donald Trump. Photo by Russell Palma/ASEN Pool Photo

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

Trump 'fine' with end of Visiting Forces Agreement

Feb 13, 2020 - 7:46 AM

'If they would like to do that, that's fine, we'll save a lot of money,' Trump tells reporters at the White House, touting his 'very good relationship' with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

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

Tolentino 'advises' AFP to ask for U.S. equipment when VFA ends

Feb 12, 2020 - 5:41 PM

'Baka naman makahingi tayo ng p'wede nating gamitin,' says Senator Francis Tolentino as 'advice' to new AFP chief Felimon Santos Jr

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

Guevarra: PH will survive without VFA with Americans

Feb 12, 2020 - 2:09 PM

Whether the President's advisers agree with him on the termination of the military deal is now 'water under the bridge,' says the justice secretary

WE WILL SURVIVE. DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the Philippines will survive without the Visiting Forces Agreement. Photo by Darren Langit/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

'Not in session hall?' 6 senators allied with Duterte withdraw vote in VFA review reso

Feb 12, 2020 - 7:42 AM

Senator Sotto asks Senator Marcos: 'Then why did you not object? Senator Dela Rosa abstained. If you were in the session hall, then you should have abstained.'

ABSTAIN. Senator Imee Marcos tells the Senate plenary she wants to change her vote on the resolution backing the review of the Visiting Forces Agreement. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

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

Senate divided as Philippines sends VFA notice of termination to U.S.

Feb 11, 2020 - 7:59 PM

Pro-administration senators withdraw their votes in an already approved Senate resolution that urges the President to review the Visiting Forces Agreement before terminating it

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

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

FALSE: U.S. embassy 'suspends' tourist visas due to virus, VFA scrapping

Feb 11, 2020 - 6:51 PM

The United States embassy in the Philippines denies issuing such an advisory. The screenshot supposedly from the embassy's website also contains spelling errors.

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

U.S. embassy in PH denies suspending visa applications

Feb 10, 2020 - 5:37 PM

The US embassy in the Philippines refutes misinformation it revoked tourist visas due to the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus and Duterte's threats to end the VFA

NO SUSPENSION. The US Embassy in Manila denies claims it would cancel tourist visas over the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak and President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement. File photo by AFP

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

Despite risks, Duterte orders Locsin to terminate VFA

Feb 07, 2020 - 9:57 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte ignores the calls of top security and foreign officials to first review the defense agreement

TERMINATE VFA. In this file photo, President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the oath-taking ceremony of newly-appointed government officials at Malacañang on February 6, 2020. File photo by Toto Lozano/Presidential Photo

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?

No termination yet: Locsin instead wants 'vigorous review' of VFA

Feb 06, 2020 - 11:42 AM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr admits he and defense chief Delfin Lorenzana were not consulted before President Duterte announced his order to terminate the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement

REVIEW FIRST. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr wants more discussions on the Visiting Forces Agreement. 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

EXPLAINER: Visiting Forces Agreement

Jan 31, 2020 - 9:00 AM

President Duterte has threatened to scrap the military pact between the Philippines and the United States. Here's what you should know about it.

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

Senate panel to review VFA, other Philippine defense pacts

Jan 29, 2020 - 4:44 PM

'Number 1, ano ang benefits na nakuha ng Pilipinas dito? What is the national interest at stake in these agreements?' says Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on some questions to be taken up at the planned hearing

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

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

Lorenzana says it’s within PH right to scrap defense pact with U.S.

Jan 25, 2020 - 7:16 AM

The defense chief he will discuss with President Duterte ‘various scenarios’ and 'future actions' that the military may undertake if and when the visiting forces agreement is terminated

JOINT DRILLS. In this photo from October 9, 2019, the Philippine Marines and US forces open the 3rd KAMANDAG joint exercises at Subic Bay International Airport. Photo by Nappy Manegdeg/Rappler.com

Lacson questions ending VFA to get Dela Rosa's visa back

Jan 24, 2020 - 2:11 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Panfilo Lacson says the Supreme Court needs to 'act soonest' on whether a two-third vote by the Senate is needed to terminate international treaties

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

Locsin heeds Duterte, starts 'terminating' VFA

Jan 24, 2020 - 12:57 PM

(UPDATED) Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr eagerly puts President Rodrigo Duterte's words in motion after the Philippine chief warned the US government it had one month to 'correct' Senator Ronald dela Rosa's canceled visa

DUTERTE'S ALTER EGO. President Rodrigo Duterte chats with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr in Malacañang on January 8, 2018. Malacañang photo

'Good move': Locsin hails Duterte's threats to scrap VFA

Jan 24, 2020 - 12:09 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to 'terminate' the Philippines-US Visiting Forces Agreement tests the countries' decades-old military alliance

TOP DIPLOMAT. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr supports the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to consider scrapping the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler