On the basis of new geologic data and a kinematic analysis, we establish a simple kinematic model in which the motion between the Philippine Sea plate and Eurasia is distributed on two boundaries: the Philippine Trench and the Philippine fault. This model predicts a velocity of 2 to 2.5 cm/yr along the fault. Geologic data from the Visayas provide an age of 2 to 4 Ma for the fault, an age in good agreement with the date of the beginning of subduction in the Philippine Trench. The origin of the Philippine fault would thus be the flip of subduction from west to east after the locking of convergence to the west by the collision of the Philippine mobile belt with the Eurasian margin.

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