Visiting Forces Agreement Digest

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially announced monday in the United States his decision to denounce the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), after repeatedly calling for the downgrading of the military alliance of the two countries. The 1998 agreement provides legal authorization for thousands of U.S. troops who turn to the Philippines each year for dozens of military and humanitarian aid exercises. Mr. OPLE. I was very interested in asking this question because I had taken the position from the beginning – and this is what is stated in a resolution tabled by Commissioners Natividad, Maambong and Regalado – that it was very important that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines be able to denounce or repeal the basic agreement as one of the options. We have already recognised, at committee level, that the basic agreement has been ratified by our Senate; It is a contract under Philippine law. But as far as the Americans are concerned, the Senate has never taken note of it, so it is an executive agreement. This creates a totally unacceptable asymmetry between the two countries. Therefore, if the government of our country believes that it is in the national interest to denounce or even renegotiate this agreement, the right thing to do is to start with a clean vest; We should not allow ourselves to be blamed for the shortcomings of the 1947 military base agreement. As an agreement to implement the VFA, EDCA authorizes the pre-positioning of war material in authorized locations. It also involves strengthening the modernization capabilities of the Philippine Armed Forces. (READ: Ph-Primer over military pact with US) In addition, it is important that the United States treat the VFA only as an executive agreement, because an executive agreement is as binding under international law as a treaty35 As long as the VFA has the elements of an agreement under international law, the VFA will also be considered a treaty.

(b) clear guidelines for the prosecution of offences committed by a member of the United States Armed Forces during their insurgent in the Philippines; The respondents boldly assert that the VFA is authorized to defend each other under Article II of the PC-US Treaty, which provides that “in order to more effectively achieve the objective of this Treaty, the Parties shall maintain and develop together, through mutual aid and assistance, their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attacks.” 41 The alleged authorisation is not as direct and unequivocal as Article III of the Security Treaty between the United States. and Japan, it would therefore be precluded to assume that the VFA deducts the authorization of the mutual defence treaty. The uncertainty is reinforced by the fact that, upon ratification of the agreement between the parties to the North Atlantic Treaty42 under the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO),43 the Senate included in its instrument of ratification declarations on questions of jurisdiction concerning U.S. forces stationed abroad. including the warning that the provisions of the criminal justice agreements, which have characteristics similar to those of the VFA, do not set a precedent for future agreements. We can reasonably infer from the statements of the U.S. Senate that criminal justice over U.S. forces deployed abroad falls within the jurisdiction of the Senate and, therefore, the Senate`s authorization for the President to enter into agreements that touch on such matters of jurisdiction cannot be accepted so easily. .

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