President Duterte suspends termination of Visiting Forces Agreement

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“The abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement has been suspended upon the President’s instruction,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said in a Twitter post evening of June 2.

The foreign affairs secretary made the statement together with a copy of diplomatic note, dated June 1, sent to the United State Embassy in Manila and was also received by Washington.

The diplomatic note states that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is informing the US Embassy “that in light of political and other developments in the region, the termination of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the United States of America Regarding the Treatment of United States Forces Visiting the Philippines contained in Note No. 20-0463 dated 11 February 2020 is hereby suspended.”

“The suspension shall start on even date and shall continue for six months, which period is extendible by the Philippines for another six months, after which the tolling of the initial period in Note Verbale No. 20-0463 dated 11 February 2020 shall resume,” said in the diplomatic note.

It added that the DFA “avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Embassy of the United States of America the assurance of its highest consideration.”

In February, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of VFA with United States.