Visiting Forces Agreement - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Visiting Forces Agreement

ARTICLE FINDER

Dela Rosa says U.S. offered visa after Duterte-Trump call

Jul 08, 2020 - 1:18 PM

(UPDATED) Taking up the United States on its offer, Senator Ronald Dela Rosa says he will go to the American embassy after quarantine restrictions are eased

NEW VISA. Senator Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa speaks to media on the cancellation of his US visa on January 22, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

2 U.S. carrier strike groups hold drills in PH Sea amid China airspace control fears

Jun 24, 2020 - 12:10 AM

The Western Pacific's traditional power showcases its naval might as China plans to establish an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea

NAVAL POWER. The USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz carrier strike groups in the Philippine Sea in June 2020. Photo from the US Pacific Fleet Facebook page v

Duterte halted VFA termination due to South China Sea tensions

Jun 22, 2020 - 6:29 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says for President Rodrigo Duterte, 'having a rise in military tensions in the South China Sea was not helping anybody'

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

U.S. thanks PH for delaying VFA termination, promises vaccine

Jun 14, 2020 - 1:57 PM

The United States is home to one of the world's current frontrunners in developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) and US Defense Secretary Mark Esper agree that the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty needs to be updated. Esper visited Manila on November 19, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Where the Philippines goes, America follows

Jun 04, 2020 - 11:30 AM

We have thousands of George Floyds. But they’re abused not because of the color of their skin as much as because of where and how they live.

Bato dela Rosa joins senators in welcoming shelved VFA termination

Jun 03, 2020 - 5:37 PM

'Foreign policies can be flexible at times,' says Senator Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa, whose canceled US visa triggered President Duterte's earlier decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US

NO US VISA. Senator Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa says he has no US visa yet even as the President suspended the abrogation of the visiting forces agreement. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

VFA termination suspended due to pandemic, geopolitics – Locsin

Jun 03, 2020 - 2:30 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the Philippines looks forward to continuing its 'strong military partnership' with the United States while reaching out to regional allies

ALLIES. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr delivers a quick statement at the Department of Foreign Affairs on June 3, 2020. Photo courtesy of DFA

Lorenzana welcomes suspension of VFA repeal

Jun 03, 2020 - 11:24 AM

(UPDATED) 'In times of crises and global uncertainty, it is our belief that nations are only made stronger if we work together and focus our efforts on tackling the various challenges that confront us all,' says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

DELFIN LORENZANA. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the Senate hearing on the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States on February 6, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Philippines suspends VFA termination for now

Jun 02, 2020 - 8:52 PM

(UPDATED) The United States welcomes the suspension, which will last for an initial period of 6 months

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

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

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

After Senate files VFA petition, Duterte insists: 'I refuse to be compelled'

Mar 10, 2020 - 2:16 PM

In asserting he wants the deal scrapped, President Rodrigo Duterte rules out any effort to 'discuss this with anybody'

COMMANDER IN CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte during the oath-taking of newly appointed government officials in Malacañang on March 3, 2020. Malacañang photo

At last, Senate asks Supreme Court to define limits of Duterte's power

Mar 09, 2020 - 4:02 PM

'I'm sure my colleagues will agree na dapat talaga there cannot be absolutism in our government,' says Senator Richard Gordon

VFA PETITION. Senate President Vicente Sotto III with fellow senators Panfilo Lacson, Franklin Drilon and Richard Gordon file on March 9, 2020, a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus at the Supreme Court questioning the country's abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

Senate asks Supreme Court: Order Duterte to seek our concurrence on VFA scrapping

Mar 09, 2020 - 1:54 PM

This marks the first time that senators of the majority bloc are challenging a policy of the Duterte administration before the Supreme Court

VFA PETITION. Senate President Vicente Sotto III with fellow senators Panfilo Lacson, Franklin Drilon and Richard Gordon file on March 9, 2020, a Petition for Declaratory Relief and Mandamus at the Supreme Court questioning the country's abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

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

Senate adopts resolution questioning Duterte power to solely end treaties

Mar 02, 2020 - 6:53 PM

The Senate leadership intends to ask the Supreme Court this week to rule on whether President Rodrigo Duterte can end treaties such as the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement without Senate concurrence

CONCURRENCE. Senate President Vicente Sotto III is the sponsor of the resolution asking the Supreme Court to rule on the need for Senate concurrence in treaty termination. File photo by Angie de Silva/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

'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

[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

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

New AFP chief Felimon Santos Jr: PH can 'move on without VFA'

Feb 12, 2020 - 3:19 PM

(UPDATED) New military chief Felimon Santos Jr says the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement will not be a loss to the Philippines

VFA. Newly confirmed AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos says the Philippines can live without the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United State. Photo by Angie de Silva/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

(UPDATED) The Philippines on June 1 suspends its notice to terminate the military pact. 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