The agreement also provides for the Philippines to assume primary jurisdiction over U.S. military personnel who commit or are charged with a crime in the country, unless the offence is related to U.S. security or is punishable only by U.S. law. If the Philippine government decided to impose an end to the VFA, it would only have to inform the United States in writing of its intention to end the treaty. 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, the Visiting Force Agreement. The VFA provides for rules on the entry and exit of U.S. personnel to the Philippines, the transfer of military ships and aircraft, and the importation and export of equipment and goods related to the activities covered by the agreement. Andrew Yeo is an associate professor of politics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
and is currently a fulbright Visiting Research Fellow at the University of the Philippines Diliman. His most recent book is “Asia`s Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century” (Stanford University Press, 2019). What is this agreement and why is it so important to the United States? Here`s what you need to know. My research explains how the VFA itself is the product of past alliance conflicts. In 1991, a more nationalist Philippine Senate voted not to renew a reciprocal basing agreement. Their decision led to the closure of the Subic naval base and effectively forced the withdrawal of all American troops from the Philippines. However, in the mid-1990s, increased security problems in the South China Sea and the slow pace of modernization of Philippine forces led Manila to revive defence relations with Washington with the signing of the VFA in 1998. In many host countries, the VFA can become an important political issue as a result of crimes allegedly committed by members of the visitation service.
This is especially true when it comes to serious crimes such as theft, murder, manslaughter or sexual crime, especially when the charge is defined differently between the two nations. For example, in 2005, four U.S. Marines were charged in the Philippines with raping a native woman they had been drinking with. As the incident had nothing to do with the military duties of the accused, they were charged under Philippine law before a Philippine court that convicted one of the accused and acquitted the others. If the VFA ends, what will happen to other military treaties and agreements with the United States? The VFA also provides for a reciprocal or contrary agreement, signed on 9 October 1998. This agreement applies to Filipino personnel temporarily sent to the United States. As I said in these pages, the alliance between the United States and the Philippines, born in 1951 from the Mutual Defense Treaty, is based on a deep and extensive partnership between the two countries, and was no stranger to a cycle of stress tests, including in the field of defense – be it the renegotiation of basic agreements in the 1970s or the closure of U.S. military installations in the early 1990s.
It is even worth recalling that the VFA itself is the product of a period of uncertainty for the Alliance in the 1990s: the agreement, ratified in May 1999 and which regulates the conditions under which the US military may be temporarily present in the Philippines, was reached after the Philippines perceived an increased threat from China from the early 1990s to the mid-1990s. , after the United States.