Since his election in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has reshaped the relationship between the Philippines and the United States: in late January 2019 he reportedly threatened to end a 1999 military agreement with Washington after it cancelled a tourist visa of his close political ally.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will order his top diplomat to inform the United States that they are scrapping a military pact which permits US military presence in the country, government spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Friday, as cited by Inquirer.
According to Panelo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro ‘Teddyboy’ Locsin will be instructed to officially inform the US government that the Philippines will terminate the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement, which sets the terms for the US military operating in the South East Asian country.
“I talked to him this morning. I asked him, ‘Mr. President, Teddyboy is saying you don’t have any instruction to write the notice of termination’” Panelo said in a phone interview.
“I’ll instruct the executive secretary to tell him (Locsin) to send the notice of termination to the US government”, he said, quoting the president.
He insisted on Twitter that Duterte had the sole authority to terminate the deal.
The news comes despite Locsin telling a Senate hearing on Thursday that terminating the pact would “negatively impact” defence and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Duterte threatened to end the…