Disputes over the cost of rebuilding bases have contributed to the U.S. significantly reducing its military footprint in the Philippines, Schaus said. The VFA was signed in 1998 to reduce the administrative burden required for U.S. forces to travel to the Philippines. But in Duterte`s announcement, there is a glimmer of hope: according to the agreement, the official cancellation of the VfA will not take effect for 180 days, meaning that Washington and Manila have until August 9 to save them or negotiate a new VFA to avoid a new alliance crisis. The challenge is that Duterte is an extreme anti-US. President, who could try to eliminate the MDT as a whole in favor of greater autonomy and better relations with China and Russia. But success speaks volumes about the permanence of the alliance, despite the whims of an autocratic president. „It is indeed the right of the Philippine government to do so if it finds that the agreement is no longer in our national interest,“ Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said on 24 January. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the United States and the Philippines, signed in 2014 by President Obama and Duterte`s predecessor, Benigno Aquino Jr.
allows for an increased rotating presence of U.S. forces, ships and aircraft in the Philippines, as well as increased U.S. access to Philippine military bases. The agreement contributed to the achievement of an important strategic objective of the Department of Defense, which attempted to expand the U.S. presence beyond major bases in Japan and South Korea. A new implementation would be difficult without the VFA. Although Duterte threatened to outsmart U.S. forces in 2016, he clearly benefits from U.S. military assistance in counterterrorism operations. The Philippines is a contractual ally of the United States with several military agreements that depend on the VFA, which provides the legal framework for which Washington troops can operate on a rotational basis in the Southeast Asian country.
But the VFA, the last iteration of which was originally ratified in 1999, plays a fundamental role in normal military activities within the Alliance`s boundaries. Without VFA, the temporary presence of U.S. forces in the Philippines and, importantly, the implementation of the Defence Cooperation Act 2014 (EDCA) would be impossible. According to the text of the diplomatic note, the six-month waiver „may be extended by the Philippines for a further six months.“ At the end of this period, Manila, unless further action is taken, would return to its original plan to denounce the agreement, which was first announced on 11 February 2020. If the VFA ends, what will happen to other military treaties and agreements with the United States? Meanwhile, Bagares argued that executive agreements based on the VFA „would have no leg to stand on“ if the VFA were abolished. – with reports from Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler.com The United States used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under US jurisdiction.  On January 18, 2006, the U.S. Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court.
 They were detained by U.S. officials at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country.   As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006.   However, the agreement has not been amended. Paradoxically, the fatal blow to the VFA could come from Washington itself rather than from Manila.
Asked about Duterte`s denunciation of the agreement, Trump said, „I don`t mind them wanting to do it.