Lorenzana says US ''may opt to discontinue'' military drills with Philippines following VFA termination
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said following the serving of the formal notice for the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to the US, Washington "may opt to discontinue" the scheduled military exercises with the Philippines even before August.
"With the formal serving of the notice of termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement, this year’s planned military exercises with the Americans shall proceed as scheduled within the 180 days that the VFA remains in force," he said in a statement issued on Thursday.
"However, our American counterparts may opt to discontinue the scheduled exercises before the 180 days are up," he added.
Lorenzana said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will end its military exercises with its US counterpart once termination of VFA is finalized.
"Once the termination is final, we will cease to have exercises with them," he said.
Last Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said the formal notice for the termination of VFA was sent to the United States Embassy in Manila.
This year, the Philippines and United States have a total of 318 activities, 155 of which are non-military while 163 are meetings and other related forums and 10 major military exercises. Robina Asido/DMS