In what sounds like a bit of a Trump move, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday declared provocatively to the US that it will now “have to pay” to maintain the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which allows for American forces to be stationed in the Philippines.
The remarks came during a speech given to Philippine troops where he said of allied US forces: “I’d like to put on notice if there is an American agent here, from now on, you want the Visiting Forces Agreement done? You have to pay,” he said. “It is a shared responsibility, but your share of responsibility does not come free, after all, when the war breaks out we all pay.”
Tensions between the US and Philippines have been on edge for years as recently Duterte openly called for the government to kick out US forces and scrap the VFA altogether, however, the country’s military at this point appears to be more concerned with the growing threat from Beijing in the South China Sea.
Tensions came to a head when last year Duterte told Washington he would cancel the deal, citing the US denying top allies within his government visas over human rights abuses.
According to a Reuters summary of his remarks:
Duterte reiterated that he wanted to avoid confrontation with China over maritime claims that “would lead to something we can hardly afford”.
“(The US) is free to advance their troops in our land … We do not like it because we want to remain neutral,” the ultra-nationalist Duterte added in his speech. “But the exigency of the moment requires their presence here, I am okay with that.”
The troop agreement was recently extended as part of military-to-military talks, and it’s unclear whether the Philippine side will actually push for compensation, or whether Duterte has a specific figure in mind, which he did not specify in the remarks.
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Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
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