President Rodrigo Duterte: US must pay if it wants to keep a two-decade-old troop deployment agreement

President Rodrigo Duterte: US  must pay if it wants to keep a two-decade-old troop deployment agreement

Duterte, a firebrand nationalist who openly disapproves of the long-standing U.S. military alliance, unilaterally cancelled the Visiting Force Agreement last year in an angry response to an ally being denied a U.S. visa.

If you want to stay, you have to pay

The withdrawal period has been twice extended, however, to create what Philippine officials say is a window for better terms to be agreed.

Speaking to Philippine troops on Friday after inspecting newly acquired air assets, Duterte said: “ I’d like to put on notice if there is an American agent here, from now on, you want the Visiting Forces Agreement done? You have to pay “

“It is a shared a responsibility, but your share of responsibility does not come free, after all, when the war breaks out we all pay,” Duterte said, alluding to Washington and Beijing stepping up military activities in the South China Sea.

Duterte did not elaborate, or say how much U.S. should pay.

The U.S. embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his remarks.

The Philippines defense apparatus want to keep the VFA as it has been vital in boosting the capabilities of under-resourced Philippine forces through dozens of annual joint training exercises, Duterte’s defense minister has said.

U.S. and Philippine officials met on Thursday to settle differences over the VFA, the first under U.S.

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