February 23, 2024

Abrogating the Visiting Forces Agreement

It is regrettable to most of us that President Rodrigo Duterte has officially notified the United States of America on Feb. 11 to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the U.S., probably due to political and socio-nationalistic reasons.
Is there sense in scrapping something beneficial? It is viewed as a risky move that will leave us to lose than to gain.
The Philippines has been a recipient of the greatest military support that the U.S. government provides to the Asia-Pacific region to shield us against threats. The abrogation of the treaty that takes effect within 180 days from notice has significant consequences in the U.S. and Philippines alliance. There will no longer be U.S. military engagements and armament assistance to our country. We will be left and rely on ourselves to defend the nation from external aggression and internal terrorism. Can we?
It will be a test of the political leadership to be able to build up our security capability and to attain independent foreign policy soon before opportunistic intruders penetrate our defense. — PERCIVAL B. ALIPIT, Baguio City