Say what you will about Duterte but he is his own man. Compare him to the usual mellifluous yellow-livered scary-cat politicians from Europe or Canada.
“US officials have been criticizing Duterte’s campaign against powerful drug cartels and accused him of human rights abuses.” Mr. Duterte does not need to explain himself to the USA. The USA talks of human rights but I bet you that if we really had an international court of justice, the USA would be on the docket for a century. So spare us your fake tears USA.
Of course, now Duterte will need to be eliminated. How dare he stand up against the Exceptional Imperial regime?
Manila sent formal notice to the US embassy on Tuesday that it is terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
@DFAPHL The Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States has received the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement. As a diplomatic courtesy there will be no further factual announcements following this self-explanatory development. https://twitter.com/dododulay/status/1227085202683396102 …Dodo Dulay@dododulay
On the order of the President thru Executive Secretary Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin signed today the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, which will delivered to the US Embassy in Manila forthwith. @DFAPHL
President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it was done in order to be independent from Washington in military affairs.
It’s about time we rely on ourselves, we will strengthen our own defenses and not rely on any other country.
Panelo told reporters that the nation is open to signing VFAs with other countries as long as they are “mutually beneficial, not one-sided.”
Signed in 1998, the VFA regulates the entry of US warships, aircraft and soldiers into the Philippines. It also allows US troops to be immune from prosecution by local authorities for some crimes committed on the Philippines soil.
The decision to end the VFA comes after the US canceled the visa of former Philippines police chief, Senator Ronald dela Rosa, last month, who the Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses of leading extrajudicial killings during Duterte’s drug war. Duterte himself has threatened to terminate the military cooperation agreement with the US if it does not reverse the visa cancellation.
The US and the Philippines have long remained strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific, as Washington often backed Manila in its diplomatic rows with Beijing over ship movements in the South China Sea.
However, relations between the states became rocky after Duterte assumed office in 2016. US officials have been criticizing Duterte’s campaign against powerful drug cartels and accused him of human rights abuses. The Philippines leader dismissed the attacks, saying that harsh measures are necessary to eradicate the drug-related organized crime that has been plaguing the country.