The U.S. Embassy in Manila welcomes the decision of the Philippines to hang back for another six months the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.

“We welcome the Government of the Philippines’ decision to again suspend termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).  Our alliance continues to contribute not only to the security of our two nations, but also strengthens the rules-based order that benefits all nations in the Indo-Pacific,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Tuesday, June 15, to Palawan News.

This came after Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on June 14 that President Rodrigo Duterte had extended the termination of the VFA which supports the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

Locsin said President Duterte extended the suspension to do more study on some particular aspects of the agreement.

“The President conveyed to us his decision to extend the suspension of the abrogation of the VFA by another six months while he studies how both sides further address his concerns regarding particular aspects of the agreement,” he said.

Back in February 2020, President Duterte terminated the VFA but suspended its process in June due to the coronavirus diseases pandemic. It was again suspended in November on the same year.