Gazmin: VFA part of Philippine defense strategy

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Gazmin: VFA part of Philippine defense strategy

Its termination would have “adverse effect” on the defense posture of the Philippines. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin highlighted the role of the US military in the country’s “overall defense strategy” in the wake of a petition filed by lawmakers to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Ratified by the Senate in 1998, the VFA allowed the return of American troops to the Philippines after the 1991 Senate vote that evicted US bases in the Philippines. Thousands of Americans are in the country every year for regular military exercises, among other activities. The murder of a Filipino transgender woman – and the alleged involvement of a US Marine in it – has revived calls for its abrogation. Two lawmakers have filed a resolution calling for the VFA’s termination.

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