The RP-US Military Bases Agreement: What You Need to Know
The RP-US Military Bases Agreement is a treaty between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America that was signed in 1947. This agreement allowed the US to establish military bases in the Philippines, giving them strategic access to Southeast Asia during the Cold War.
However, the agreement was eventually terminated in 1991, amid growing public sentiment against the presence of American troops in the Philippines. The bases were closed and the Philippines was left to strengthen its own military forces.
Fast forward to 2020, and the RP-US Military Bases Agreement has once again become a topic of discussion. President Rodrigo Duterte announced plans to terminate the agreement in February, citing the revocation of the US visa of Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, a key ally of the president who played a key role in Duterte`s war on drugs.
But what does this mean for the Philippines, and for the US? Here are some things to consider:
1. The termination of the agreement could have military implications.
The Philippines has been relying on the US for military support, particularly in its ongoing territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. The termination of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement could weaken the Philippines` defense capabilities, and leave the country vulnerable to external threats.
2. The termination could strain diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the US.
The US has been a key ally of the Philippines for decades, providing military and economic aid. The termination of the agreement could strain this relationship, and lead to a further erosion of trust between the two countries.
3. The termination could have economic implications.
The US military presence in the Philippines has provided a boost to the country`s economy over the years. The termination of the agreement could lead to a loss of jobs and revenue, particularly in areas where the bases are located.
4. The termination could have regional implications.
The Philippines` territorial disputes with China have been a source of tension in the region, with other countries such as Japan and Vietnam also involved in similar disputes. The termination of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement could have wider regional implications, particularly if it leads to a weaker Philippines military presence in the South China Sea.
In conclusion, the termination of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement is a complex issue that has far-reaching implications for the Philippines and the US. While the decision ultimately lies with the Philippine government, it is important to consider the possible military, diplomatic, economic, and regional implications before making a final decision.