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The Agreement on Enhanced Defence Cooperation (EDCA), signed in April 2014 under then-President Benigno Aquino III, aims to operationalize the VFA. Military activities authorized by the Philippines are also insinuated in the context of the VFA. The executive agreement provides for an increased military turnover of U.S. troops, aircraft and ships in the Philippines and allows them greater access to military bases in the country. 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.” But the VFA, the last iteration of which was originally ratified in 1999, plays a fundamental role in normal military activities within the Alliance`s boundaries. Without VFA, the temporary presence of U.S. forces in the Philippines and, importantly, the implementation of the Defence Cooperation Act 2014 (EDCA) would be impossible.

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. [15] In June 2020, the Philippine government reversed this decision and announced that it was maintaining the agreement. [16] A3: both countries signed the VFA in 1998. It offers simplified access procedures in the Philippines for U.S. service providers on official stores (e.g.B. U.S.-Philippines bilateral training or military exercises), and it provides a number of procedures to resolve problems that may occur as a result of the U.S.

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