The President of the Philippines has conceded that the “exigency” of the geopolitical situation makes the presence of US troops in the country a necessity, but warned Washington it won’t be getting anything for free this time.
“I want to put notice, if there is an American agent here, if you want VFA [Visiting Forces Agreement], you have to pay. You have to pay because it is a shared responsibility,” President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday night.
“Your share of responsibility does not come free because, after all, when the war breaks out, we all pay,” he added, during an inspection of new air assets of the Philippine Air Force at Clark Air Base.
“In the past, I was offended, we ask so much from them because they have taken so much from us for free” he said, but admitted, “the exigency of the moment requires their [Americans’] presence here.”