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Duterte threatens to end accord that allows American forces to train in Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Jan 24:  The Philippine president has renewed a threat to terminate an accord that allows American forces to train in the country unless Washington restored a visa of a political ally linked to human rights violations.

President Rodrigo Duterte said in an expletives-laced speech Thursday night that he would give notice to the US terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement, known by its acronym VFA, if the reported cancellation of the entry visa of Sen Ronald dela Rosa was not corrected within a month. “I’m warning you … if you won’t do the correction on this, I will terminate the … Visiting Forces Agreement. I’ll end that son of a bitch,” Duterte said in televised remarks in central Leyte province.

Duterte also rejected an invitation by President Donald Trump to join a special meeting the US leader will host for leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in March in Las Vegas, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

The Philippines is a founding member of the 10-nation regional bloc. Duterte’s rejection was partly sparked by the US cancellation of dela Rosa’s visa, Panelo said. The security accord, which took effect in 1999, provides the legal cover for American troops to enter the Philippines for joint training with Filipino troops. (AP)

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