The United States government welcomed Thursday the decision of the Philippines to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) for another six months.
In a statement issued by the US Embassy in Manila, it said the US-Philippines alliance “remains vital to our robust, deep-rooted bilateral relationship.”
“The United States will continue to partner closely with the Philippines to strengthen our mutual security ties,” the US Embassy said.
In a video message Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Losin Jr. announced the extension of the abrogation of the VFA on the instructions of President Duterte.
The extension, according to Locsin, will enable both sides to formulate a “mutually beneficial, mutually agreeable, more effective, and lasting” security arrangement.
Locsin credited the President’s decision to extend the VFA termination to the efforts exhibited by both countries in maintaining stability and security in the South China Sea.
“A great deal of credit for the renewal of stability and security goes to deft diplomacy, unequivocal expressions of policy, sturdy postures of strength combined with unfailing tact, and pragmatic national security advice exhibited by both our governments in the same period,” he said.
Duterte’s order to extend the abrogation came several days after former Vice President Joseph “Joe” Biden was projected to become the next president of the United States in a tightly contested presidential race.