MANILA, Philippines — Despite the cancellation of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States, the military exercises between the two countries in the coming months will still push Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.
In a prepared statement, Lorenzana said military exercises between Filipino and American soldiers will still proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force.
“With the formal serving of the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, this year’s planned military exercises with the Americans shall proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force,” Lorenzana said.
But the Defense chief made it clear that American troops may opt to discontinue the exercises before the 180 days are up.
Termination of the VFA becomes final after the 180-day grace period had lapsed in which time Filipino troops will stop conducting military drills with their American counterparts Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana’s counterpart in US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday confirmed that they have received the notice of termination sent by the Philippine government. (IAMIGO/sovereignph.com)