However, the agreement has not been amended. Although Duterte threatened to expel U.S. forces in 2016, he also benefits significantly from the United States. Military support including in these operations – and Manila may need more help, since 11 of its soldiers were killed in the fight against the Abu Sayyaf terror group in Sulu. The VFA was also essential to allow the U.S. military to enter the Philippines in 2013 to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief after Typhoon Haiyan. U.S. security assistance over the past two decades of the VFA`s existence has been considerable and amounted to about $1.3 billion, and annual exercises like Balikatan – although cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic – greatly improve the Philippine military`s willingness to conduct a series of missions. Indeed, decades of close interaction between the U.S. and Filipino militaries have led to very positive views of the U.S. under the Philippine defense establishment, while China is seen as the greatest threat. My research introduces that VFA itself is a product of past alliances. In 1991, a more nationalist Philippine Senate voted not to renew a reciprocal basic agreement.
Their decision led to the closure of the Subic Bay naval base and effectively forced the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Philippines. However, heightened security concerns in the South China Sea in the mid-1990s and the slow pace of modernization of the Philippine armed forces led Manila to resurrect defense relations with Washington by signing the VFA in 1998. The second challenge, Suzette Nicolas y Sombilon vs. Alberto Romulo, et al. / Jovito R. Salonga, et al. Vs.
Daniel Smith, et al. / Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, et al. Vs. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, et al., filed on January 2, 2007, was decided on February 11, 2009 by the Supreme Court which sat in bench. In deciding this second challenge, the Tribunal decided 9 to 4 (with two judges) that «the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) concluded on 10 February 1998 between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States would be confirmed as constitutional … The decision continued, in particular with regard to the issues relevant to the Subic Rape case. the Romulo-Kenney Agreements of 19 and 22 December 2006 are not in conformity with the VFA and the Respondent Secretary of State is responsible for immediately contacting united States officials on the corresponding agreement on detention facilities under Philippine authorities, in accordance with Art.