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Philippines risks danger by abruptly terminating US defense agreement

Rodrigo Duterte has acted rashly, potentially emboldening China and terrorists

| Philippines

"It's final," a top Philippine official confirmed to me just hours after President Rodrigo Duterte submitted a formal notice of termination for the country's Visiting Forces Agreement, or VFA, with the U.S.

This crucial defense agreement has been the linchpin of the bilateral alliance since the end of the Cold War, providing the legal framework for the entry and stationing of American troops on Philippine soil. Without the agreement, the countries' 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty is effectively paralyzed.

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