TEODORO L. LOCSIN, JR.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
on the Visiting Forces Agreement and
the Visit of United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III
30 July 2021
This is a special year for the Philippines-U.S. alliance. We celebrate not just 75 years of diplomatic relations, but also 70 years of the Mutual Defense Treaty, 70 years of the United States being our only defense treaty ally.
The alliance has stayed strong and overcome challenges. It is vital to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region. All the protagonists in the region, without a single exception, see a strong US presence as imperative to peace and stability in Southeast Asia. They are the precondition for mutually beneficial cooperation rather than destructive conflict among themselves.
The United States has shown its commitment to fulfill its obligations to us under the alliance. They have addressed issues arising from our security relationship with good faith. Together, we have moved forward on the basis of common interest, shared values and mutual respect.
As such, upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, today I handed over to United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III the Diplomatic Note recalling the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement.
[Watch video message on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsBOSgAhRAo]