Why is Duterte canceling the US-Philippines military cooperation agreement?

Government troops with their belongings walk towards waiting vehicles during a send-off ceremony ending their combat duty against pro-Islamic State militant groups inside military headquarters in Marawi city,  Philippines October 25, 2017.       REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

This week, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte announced the cancellation of the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States. While withdrawal from the military cooperation pact doesn’t dissolve the mutual defense treaty between the two countries, Lindsey Ford warns that it reinforces a narrative of declining U.S. influence and leadership in the Indo-Pacific, and is also a significant loss for the safety and security of the Philippine people.

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