Duterte to uphold PH’s interests with decision to keep VFA -- Palace | Global News
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Duterte to uphold PH’s interests with decision to keep VFA — Palace

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 01:07 PM July 30, 2021
VFA Austin Duterte

(FLE) BALIKATAN 2018 IN ZAMBALES In this May 09, 2018, photo, U.S. and Philippine Marines storm the beach to simulate a raid during the joint U.S.-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2018 at the Naval Training Exercise Command, a former U.S. naval base, and facing the South China Sea at San Antonio township, Zambales province. INQUIRER FILE/EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte decided to keep the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States to uphold the Philippines’ interests while clearly defining the ties between the two nations as “between sovereign equals,” Malacañang said Friday.

“PRRD’s decision to recall the abrogation of VFA is based on upholding PH strategic core interests, the clear definition of PH-US alliance as one between sovereign equals, and clarity of US position on its obligations and commitments under MDT [Mutual Defense Treaty],” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

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“PH will, however, continue to engage other countries for partnerships that work, based on our core national interests,” he added.

Duterte recalled the abrogation of the VFA After meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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It was in February 2020 when Duterte threatened the agreement’s abrogation should the U.S. fail to “correct” the U.S. visa cancellation of his ally, former police chief and now Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.

The abrogation of the VFA was suspended three times.

Austin paid a courtesy call on Duterte upon arrival in the country. During their meeting, the two officials agreed to strengthen the alliance in areas of pandemic response, combating transnational crimes, including the war on illegal drugs, maritime domain awareness, the rule of law, and trade and investments.

/MUF

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TAGS: Duterte, Malacañang, Palace, President Duterte, United States, US, VFA, Visiting Forces Agreement
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