The Philippines yesterday officially informed the United States that it was terminating a pact allowing American troops to hold military exercises in the country.
Signed in 1998, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) allowed thousands of US troops to be rotated in the Philippines for military exercises and humanitarian assistance operations.
President Rodrigo Duterte's allies had tried to dissuade him from making the decision. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said abrogating the accord would undermine the Philippines' security and foster aggression in the disputed South China Sea.
American forces have provided intelligence, training and aid that allowed the Philippines to deal with human trafficking and terrorism.
The US Embassy in Manila said the VFA's termination "is a serious step with significant implications for the US-Philippine alliance".
SEE WORLD: Philippines scraps key defence pact with US