It is considered an agreement that complements the Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT), another agreement between the Philippines and the United States, which ensures that both countries provide military assistance if their metropolitan areas or Pacific territories are attacked by a foreign force. The Philippines, a former U.S. territory that gained independence in 1946, has long regarded Washington as its most powerful ally. In addition to the VFA, it also has a mutual defence contract with the United States, which dates back to the 1950s. But some analysts say the pact, combined with the Obama administration`s enhanced defense cooperation agreement, could be at risk if the deal on the U.S. military visit was abolished. The main effect of the agreement is to require the U.S. government to notify the Philippine authorities when it is aware of the arrest, arrest or detention of Filipino personnel visiting the United States and, at the request of the Philippine government, to invite the competent authorities to exercise jurisdiction on behalf of the Philippines, except in cases of particular interest to the State Department or the Secretary of Defense. [2] [VIII1] The waiver of U.S. jurisdiction is complicated because the United States is a federation of American states and therefore a federation of jurisdictions. The VFA also provides for a reciprocal or contrary agreement, signed on 9 October 1998.

This agreement applies to Filipino personnel temporarily sent to the United States. The United States has also maintained up to 100 special forces on the Philippine island of Mindanao on a rotating base to help Manila fight the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf and other militants linked to the Islamic State. Duterte took office three years ago with strong words for Washington. In particular, he said the United States treated the Philippines like „like a dog on a leash“ and accused U.S. forces of illegal activities in the country. After coming to power in 2016, Duterte achieved a dramatic shift from the United States to China, increasingly the dominant regional power. Renato de Castro, a professor of international studies at Manila`s De La Salle University, told NPR that the decision to throw the Visiting Forces agreement overboard is part of Duterte`s „Desire to abolish the United States so that there is no obstacle to its pivot to China.“ He says the repeal of the Dela Rosa visa „is just an excuse.“ In substance, the step would not be unimportant either. For the United States, while its alliance with the Philippines may not be as high as its other Asian alliances and has been below average in the past, it would nevertheless complicate the issue of the presence of the United States.