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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Philippines' Duterte fully restores key U.S. troop pact

    MANILA (Reuters) -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has restored a crucial pact governing the presence of U.S. troops in the Southeast Asian nation, the two countries’ defence ministers said on Friday, reversing a decision that had caused increasing concern in Washington and Manila.


    The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) provides rules for the rotation of thousands of U.S. troops in and out of the Philippines for war drills and exercises. It has assumed additional importance as the United States and its allies contend with an increasingly assertive China.


    Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he was unsure why Duterte had reversed himself but made the decision after meeting U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Manila on Thursday.


    Harry Roque, Duterte’s spokesperson, later said the president’s decision was “based on upholding the Philippines’ strategic core interest...and clarity of U.S. position on its obligations and commitments under the MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty).”


    Duterte’s decision won’t change much on the ground as the pact had not been terminated but it provides stability for both countries.


    “This provides certainty for us going forward, we can do long-range planning and do different types of exercises,” Austin said during a news conference with his Philippine counterpart.


    The Philippines is a U.S. treaty ally, and several military agreements are dependent on the VFA.


    Duterte vowed to terminate the pact after the United States denied a visa to a Philippine senator who is an ally of the president. But he had repeatedly pushed back the expiration date, the last time last month, maintaining it until the end of the year.


    For the United States, having the ability to rotate in troops is important not only for the defence of the Philippines, but strategically when it comes to countering China’s assertive behaviour in the region.


    “(Duterte’s decision) opens up significant possibilities for strengthening the alliance that were otherwise closed,” said Greg Poling, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


    There are long-standing tensions between the Philippines and China over disputed waters in the South China Sea.


    The United States this month repeated a warning to China that an attack on Philippine forces in the South China Sea would trigger a 1951 U.S.-Philippines mutual defence treaty.


    There are, however, still questions about Duterte’s unpredictability.


    “Some of the celebration is premature... (the VFA) will continue to be under threat so long as Duterte remains president,” said Aaron Connelly, with the International Institute for Strategic Studies.


    Philippine presidential elections are set for 2022 and while Duterte is barred by the constitution from seeking re-election, his party has been encouraging him to run again for office, as vice president.


    Philippines''' Duterte fully restores key U.S. troop pact | Reuters

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Chico's Avatar
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    President D's wealth no doubt will increase without out a doubt and best of friends again with the USA, and no doubt will become more popular than Marcos .

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Philippines' Duterte fully restores key U.S. troop pact
    ...as if there was ever any doubt this would happen...

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...as if there was ever any doubt this would happen...
    Exactly. Even Duterte realises that opening his doors to the chinky parasites is asking for the country to be sucked dry.

  5. #5
    dairy dairy me
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Exactly. Even Duterte realises that opening his doors to the chinky parasites is asking for the country to be sucked dry.
    He has learnt what happens when you try to swim with crocodiles.

  6. #6
    Philippine Expat
    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    The VFA is a win/win for the PI and always has been. Alliance with the US, free training and tons of free equipment. all of which gets left here at the conclusion of joint exercises as that's cheaper than shipping it back to the US. I never understood Duterte's objection, other than his anti-US bias.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    I never understood Duterte's objection
    ...he was in a snit because a senator friend of his was denied a US visa due to flagrant corruption (even by Filipino standards)...by stamping his foot and holding his breath, he demonstrated loyalty to the oppressive hierarchy that rules the islands, no matter who the president is...

  8. #8
    Philippine Expat
    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^Indeed.

    That said, I too wish US politicians would focus on the huge range or problems they face domestically, and stay the fuck out of the international arena, which few of them understand in the slightest.
    Last edited by Davis Knowlton; 31-07-2021 at 10:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    I never understood Duterte's objection, other than his anti-US bias.
    It probably involved cash.

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    It probably involved cash.
    He has probably learnt how to squeeze the most out of US from the other whore Erdogan.

  11. #11
    Philippine Expat
    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^^I very much doubt it. (If you're being serious).

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    ^^I very much doubt it. (If you're being serious).
    The chinkies are very good at splashing the cash to countries from which they want to extract something.

    Unless you think Duterte is not corrupt, guaranteed he and others will have skimmed off the top, leaving the country with the bill.

    That's how "Belt and Owed" works.

  13. #13
    Philippine Expat
    Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^I've lived here through every President since Marcos (except for Ramos' six years, for which I was in Thailand). I have quite a good understanding of how corruption works. I have seen no signs that Duterte has been, or is, personally profiting off of the relationship with the US....which is generally lukewarm at best. If you have evidence otherwise instead of boilerplate generalities, I'd be interested.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    ^Harry sees the money everywhere (where he wants to see...)

  15. #15
    Custom Title Changer
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    I'm guessing it's in connection with the vaccine donations by Pfizer. Just a guess on my part though.

  16. #16
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton View Post
    The VFA is a win/win for the PI and always has been. Alliance with the US, free training and tons of free equipment. all of which gets left here at the conclusion of joint exercises as that's cheaper than shipping it back to the US. I never understood Duterte's objection, other than his anti-US bias.
    Same as simular agreements here. The US has long standing agreements going back since the 50s. Cobra Gold here Balikatan in the PI good stuff for both parties.

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