Since Duterte became president in 2016, U.S. politicians have tried to maintain long-standing bilateral relations despite Duterte`s concerns. While many Philippine officials are still striving to maintain or deepen cooperation with the United States and the public supports this relationship, Duterte has made these efforts more difficult for the United States, the willingness to cooperate more with China and frustration with U.S. boldness in the face of human rights violations. The Philippine Constitution limits presidential office to six years without re-election. A5: The termination procedure within the VFA provides for a 180-day delay between the announcement of the intention to withdraw until the official date of the revocation. In the absence of a new agreement, U.S. forces currently operating in the Philippines must leave or find a new legal status. These include U.S. forces helping the AFP fight against Islamic State-linked insurgents on the southern islands. As the AFP and the Philippine government make progress against the insurgents, U.S. support is stepping up and accelerating progress for the Philippines, while slowing or even reversing the spread of Islamic State in Southeast Asia. In February, Duterte ordered the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, jeopardizing security coverage for the Philippines, which is increasingly hostile to Chinese actions in the South China Sea.
Under the agreement, Washington and Manila had 180 days after giving notice – in this case until August – to try to salvage the deal. Duterte`s cabinet also appear to have serious reservations about his VFA decision. They tried to discuss their concerns with him cautiously, but they understood that they probably will not change their minds. In order to make their views more attractive, they probably tried to emphasize the importance of the VFA for maintaining assistance to U.S. special forces in the fight against terrorist operations in the southern Philippines against the jihadists. The government of President Rodrigo Duterte informed the U.S. government on February 11 that it intended to terminate the 1998 agreement, which allows the entry of a large number of U.S. forces for combat training with Philippine troops and sets the legal conditions for their temporary stay.
The whistleblower would come into force after 180 days in August, unless both sides agreed to terminate the agreement. But the VFA, the last iteration of which was originally ratified in 1999, plays a fundamental role in normal military activities within the Alliance`s boundaries. Without VFA, the temporary presence of U.S. forces in the Philippines and, importantly, the implementation of the Defence Cooperation Act 2014 (EDCA) would be impossible. MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine president has suspended his decision to end a major defense pact with the United States, avoiding, at least temporarily, a blow to one of America`s oldest alliances in Asia. The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual threats.  [VIII 2-6] The agreement also exempts Filipino personnel from visa formalities and ensures expedited entry and exit;  [IV] requires the United States to accept Philippine driver`s licenses;  [V] authorizes Philippine personnel to carry weapons to U.S. military facilities during deployment;  [VI] provides for exemptions and import/export duties for Filipino personnel;  [X, XI] requires the United States to provide medical care to Filipino personnel;  [XIV] and exempts Philippine vehicles, ships and aircraft from landing or port charges, shipping or overflight charges, road tolls or any other charge for U.S. use.