US-Philippine alliance facing major stress test

President Rodrigo Duterte's order to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement threatens to unravel the 69-year-old alliance

On Tuesday, 22 years and one day after it was signed, the Philippines notified the United States of its intention to withdraw from the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

If President Rodrigo Duterte does not retract the notification within 180 days, it could lead to the unravelling of America's 69-year-old alliance with the Philippines, sealed by the 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2020, with the headline 'US-Philippine alliance facing major stress test'. Print Edition | Subscribe