Philippine President Duterte recently asked the United States to “pay” before he was willing to extend the “Military Exchange Agreement” (VFA) between the two countries. The Philippine ambassador to the United States Romuldes said on the 5th that the country has received a list of military assistance proposed by the US Department of Defense, and said that he is personally satisfied with the list.
Romuldes said that Duterte’s so-called “payment” refers to his hope that the United States can assist the Philippine military in upgrading its equipment. After comparing the list of military assistance proposed by the US Department of Defense, Romuldes believes that it is “complete” and “sufficient” and is expected to satisfy Duterte. He also revealed that the Philippine military should be able to receive 10 UH-60 “Black Hawk” utility helicopters presented by the United States this year.
Due to the cancellation of the visa to the United States of his close friend Delarosha in February 2020, Duterte once announced that the “Agreement on Exchange of Military Visits” would be terminated. Although the implementation was suspended in June of the same year, the United States was still repeatedly asked to exchange various benefits in exchange for various benefits, including the new coronary pneumonia (COVID-19) vaccine. When Duterte inspected the air base in February, he again asked the United States to “pay”, and later released information, complaining that the Philippines received insufficient funds for anti-terrorism assistance from the United States.
Although the United States and the Philippines signed the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1951, the defense cooperation relationship was ups and downs. The Military Base Agreement (MBA), which expired in 1991, could not be continued due to the anti-American sentiment of the Filipino people at that time. As a result, the US military once completely lost its foothold in the Philippines. And because the “Military Mutual Visit Agreement” signed in 1998 allows US military officers and soldiers to quickly enter the Philippines and have a certain degree of authority to act, it is not only very important for the defense cooperation between the two countries, but also has a bearing on whether the United States can maintain the front line in the South China Sea. Sufficient influence, so the Biden administration has reiterated a few days ago that it will consolidate the military alliance between the two sides.
(Zhongshi News Network)