Obama: US will not establish bases in the Philippines

United States President Barack Obama, upon his arrival, made it clear that US military will not establish or reclaim bases or will set up a permanent military presence in the country. Both US and PH assure that Expanded Defense Cooperation Agreement abides with Philippine Constitution and existing laws.

Obama in Philippines

US President Barack Obama talks during a joint news conference with President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on April 28, 2014. The United States is not trying to counter or contain China, Mr Obama said on Monday, April 28, 2014, as he stressed that Washington opposes the use of coercion in maritime disputes. — REUTERS –

The said agreement was signed both by US and PH represented by US Ambassador to the Philippines and Philippine Defence Secretary. To give concerned individuals more information about EDCA, Philippine government’s official gazette provided a FAQ about the expanded agreement.

Here are the main features of EDCA as enumerated by the government’s official gazette:

Clear provision that the US would “not establish a permanent military presence or base in the Philippines”;

US access to and use of designated areas in AFP owned and controlled facilities (“Agreed Locations”) will be at the invitation of the Philippine Government;

Prior consent of the Philippines, through the Mutual Defense Board (MDB) and Security Engagement Board (SEB), with regard to US access and use of Agreed Locations which may be listed in an annex and further described in implementing arrangements;

Philippines retention of primary responsibility for security of the Agreed Locations;

Access of the AFP base commander to the entire area of the Agreed Locations;

Philippine ownership of buildings and infrastructure once constructed by US military;

Sharing and joint use of facilities in the Agreed Locations, including those built by the US military;

Value of prepositioned materiel in the enhancement of AFP defense capabilities and possible transfer or purchase of materiel determined to be excess;

Prohibition of entry to the Philippines of nuclear weapons, and reference to respective obligations of both Parties under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention;

Strong commitment by both Parties in protecting the environment, human health and safety;

Preference for Philippine suppliers of goods, products and service in US military procurement; and,

Regular consultation on the implementation of the agreement.

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