Feb. 8 (EIRNS)—The U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is definitely being rescinded, with an official notification to the U.S., which will begin a 180-day period for the removal of U.S. troops and equipment. Something could still happen—such as President Donald Trump intervening to restore the visa to former national police chief (now Senator) Roland Dela Rosa, which was lifted by the State Department without explanation. Mike Pompeo’s State Department is full of Duterte-haters who oppose his war on drugs, which was run for several years by Dela Rosa.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told ABS-CBN News on Feb. 7 of his exchange with the President, saying, “I asked for clarification and he said he is not changing his decision.”
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin appeared to be opposing the cut-off, saying that the more than $550 million in security aid received from the U.S. since 2016, along with intelligence, training, and the ability to deter Chinese aggression were too important to lose. But Duterte has made up his mind.