The VFA provides for rules on the entry and exit of U.S. personnel to the Philippines, the transfer of military ships and aircraft, and the importation and export of equipment and goods related to the activities covered by the agreement. Apart from this reading of the tea leaves, Duterte cannot in principle have a single discretion to decide the fate of the VFA. Senior leaders in the Philippine Senate, particularly the president of the Senate, an ally of Duterte, have launched a petition asking the Supreme Court to ascertain whether Duterte has the unilateral power to denounce the deal. The petition calls for the executive and the legislature to agree on such a decision. Despite the court decision, President Salvador Panelo`s spokesman said: “We will follow the Supreme Court. No matter what the law says, we will follow. However, the Supreme Court tends to favour Duterte. The United States has used the agreement at least twice to keep the accused military under U.S. jurisdiction.  On January 18, 2006, the U.S. Military retained custody of four soldiers accused of rape while they were visiting Subic Bay during their trial in a Philippine court.  They were detained by U.S. officials at the U.S.
Embassy in Manila. This has led to protests from those who believe that the agreement is unilateral, harmful and contrary to the sovereignty of the Philippines. [Citation required] The agreement has been characterized as immunity from criminal prosecution for U.S. military personnel who commit crimes against Filipinos and treatment of Filipinos as second-class citizens in their own country.   As a result of these problems, some members of the Philippine Congress considered ending the VFA in 2006.   However, the agreement has not been amended. The agreement contains various procedural safeguards to protect due process rights and prohibit dual threats.  [VIII 2-6] The agreement also exempts Filipino personnel from visa formalities and ensures expedited entry and exit;  [IV] requires the United States to accept Philippine driver`s licenses;  [V] authorizes Philippine personnel to carry weapons to U.S. military facilities during deployment;  [VI] provides for exemptions and import/export duties for Filipino personnel;  [X, XI] requires the United States to provide medical care to Filipino personnel;  [XIV] and exempts Philippine vehicles, ships and aircraft from landing or port charges, shipping or overflight charges, road tolls or any other charge for the use of U.S. military installations.  [XV] A3: both countries signed the VFA in 1998.
It offers simplified access procedures in the Philippines for U.S. service providers on official stores (for example. B U.S.-Philippines bilateral training or military exercises), and it provides a number of procedures to solve problems that may be present due to the U.S. military in the Philippines. The United States could also take the opportunity to renegotiate a new, better-value agreement with the Philippines – one that meets President Duterte`s goal of being strong against the United States and the other that gives President Trump the opportunity to mark another important deal, this time a defense deal, with its unique footprint that could advance U.S. interests for years. But in Duterte`s announcement, there is a glimmer of hope: according to the agreement, the official cancellation of the VfA will not take effect for 180 days, meaning that Washington and Manila have until August 9 to save them or negotiate a new VFA to avoid a new alliance crisis. The challenge is that Duterte is an extreme anti-US. President, who could try to eliminate the MDT as a whole in favor of greater autonomy and better relations with China and Russia. But success speaks volumes about the permanence of the alliance, despite the whims of an autocratic president.