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.  In June 2020, the Philippine government reversed this decision and announced that it was maintaining the agreement.  Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – The Philippines is currently investigating the consequences of a possible exit from a 1998 agreement with the United States on the treatment of its military personnel, known as the Visiting Force Agreement. The United States has used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under U.S. jurisdiction.  On January 18, 2006, the U.S. Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court.  They were detained by U.S. officials at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country.   As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006.   However, the agreement has not been amended. The Philippines-U.S. Visiting Agreement, sometimes the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement, is a bilateral agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which consists of two separate documents. The first of these documents is commonly referred to as “VFA” or “VFA-1″ and the second is referred to as “VFA-2” or “counterparty agreement.”  A Visiting Forces Agreement is a version of an agreement on the status of the armed forces that applies only to troops temporarily stationed in a country.
The agreements entered into force on 27 May 1999, after ratification by the Philippine Senate.    The U.S. government considers these documents to be executive agreements that do not require the approval of the U.S. Senate.  While we have heard a series of threats from Duterte since taking office, the Duterte administration`s denunciation of the VFA is the greatest real threat to the U.S.-Philippine Alliance since the President took office. Of course, even if the clock started during the 180-day period, there are still steps to be taken to finalize the step, and since the broader alliance itself would still exist, both sides have the potential to renegotiate the terms of a new VFA agreement further. Nevertheless, it is worth contextualizing the potential importance of the move itself if it actually happens. First, the Philippine security establishment still appreciates the alliance. Philippine forces continue to benefit from the VFA and receive military assistance, training, training and weapons. And although the Philippine Foreign Minister and Defence Minister mentioned the need to review the agreement and develop an autonomous national defence, the two did not openly ask for an end to the VFA.