In this Jan. 7, 2020, photo provided by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, talks during the Joint Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) Command Conference at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines. The Philippine government has ordered the mandatory evacuation of Filipino workers from Iraq and is sending a coast guard vessel to the Middle East to rapidly ferry its citizens to safety in case hostilities between the United States and Iran worsen, officials said Wednesday. (Alfred Frias/ Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP)

The Philippine president has announced his intention to withdraw from the Visiting Forces Agreement that facilitates the US military presence in his country.
The actual end of that pact is still a long way off, but similar decisions in the past left Manila in a weaker position to counter China’s ambitions in the region.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte followed through on numerous threats to end his country’s Visiting Forces Agreement with the US on Tuesday, notifying Washington of his intent to withdraw, triggering a 180-day countdown.

On Friday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said he thought the two sides could reach a political resolution, but recent history suggests the pact’s demise could be an opportunity for China in a strategically valuable region.

Since taking office in 2016, Duterte has repeatedly criticized the US and US officials. The US, which ruled the Philippines as a colony in the first half of the 20th century, remains close with the Philippines and is very popular there — as is Duterte, who had 87% approval in December.

But the Philippine president nevertheless decided to end the VFA, with his spokesman saying it was “time we …read more


Source:: Businessinsider – Politics

      

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