The VFA provides for rules on the entry and exit of U.S. personnel to the Philippines, the transfer of military ships and aircraft, and the importation and export of equipment and goods related to the activities covered by the agreement. On February 11, 2020, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially announced at the U.S. Embassy in Manila that he was coming to an end to the pact, with the denunciation expected to come into force in 180 days, unless otherwise agreed during that period. In the past, Duterte has shown admiration for both Russian forces and the People`s Liberation Army of China, although the Philippines and China are involved in a dispute in the South China Sea over sovereignty over the Spratly Islands.  In June 2020, the Philippine government reversed this decision and announced that it was maintaining the agreement.  A1: no The VFA is an agreement between the two countries to support the Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT). The MDT was established in 1951 between the United States and the Philippines to provide mutual assistance in the event of an attack on foreigners. The United States has used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under U.S. jurisdiction.  On January 18, 2006, the U.S.
Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court.  They were detained by U.S. officials at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country.   As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006.   However, the agreement has not been amended. Under Article V of the agreement, the custody of U.S.
personnel whose case falls under Philippine jurisdiction must “immediately reside with the U.S. military authorities if they wish” from the time the crime was committed, until all legal proceedings are completed. However, U.S. military authorities make the accused available to the Philippine authorities “in a timely manner for investigations or judicial proceedings related to the offence.” The announcement of the end of the agreement, which is separate from the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, came after Duterte was tormented over the revocation of the visa of his former police chief, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, one of his key allies. “This agreement remains in effect until the expiry of 180 days from the date on which one party notifies the other party in writing its wish to terminate the contract.” Meanwhile, Bagares argued that executive agreements based on the VFA “would have no leg to stand on” if the VFA were abolished. – with reports from Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler.com The United States, which provided about $550 million in military aid to the Philippines from 2016 to 2019, is conducting joint military exercises, such as the annual joint exercise called Balikatan or “shoulder-to-shoulder” in Tagalog with Philippine troops. Balikatan, sometimes part of which the Australian and Japanese forces are, is seen as a show of force against possible military adventures of China. The United States could also take the opportunity to renegotiate a new, better-value agreement with the Philippines – one that meets President Duterte`s goal of being strong against the United States and the other that gives President Trump the opportunity to mark another important deal, this time a defense deal, with its unique footprint that could move the United States forward.