Defense Secretary Visits the Philippines

Philippine president reinstates defense forces pact.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in a bilateral defense meeting regarding the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). As a result, the Philippine president has changed his mind about terminating the agreement.

Philippine National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stated on Friday, “After the meeting between Secretary Austin and the president, the president decided to recall or retract a termination letter for the VFA… We are back on track with your secretary to plan for future exercises under the VFA.” The defense minister added the agreement underscores “the significance of the bilateral defense relations between the Philippines and the United States in light of new and emerging challenges that confront our nations.”

Secretary Austin said, “I’m glad to have the opportunity in person to reaffirm our shared commitment to the U.S.-Philippine alliance.” The U.S. defense secretary thanked President Duterte for restoring the VFA, adding, “Our countries face a range of challenges from the climate crisis to the pandemic. And as we do, a strong, resilient, U.S.-Philippines alliance will remain vital to the security, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific. A fully restored VFA will help us achieve that goal.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Austin as he heads the Defense Department.
  • With thanksgiving for the continued alliance with the Philippines.
  • For officials in the Departments of State and Defense as agreements and cooperative efforts are developed in the Indo-Pacific.

Sources:, Department of Defense


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