EDCA discussion begins, bases to be determined

Military officials from United States and Philippines meet in a round table to discuss details on Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Mutual Defense Board (MDB) and the Security Engagement Board (SEB), co-chaired by the AFP Chief and US Pacific Command commander Admiral Samuel Locklear, convened yesterday, October 13.

General Catapang said early this month that planning on EDCA will continue so that when Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of the agreement, plans will be implemented immediately.

“We will discuss important issues, including the areas where they will reposition their humanitarian equipment and the areas that they want to develop for their pre-positioning,” the AFP Chief said.

Previous reports say that three to five AFP bases will be used as EDCA bases where US troops and equipment will be housed.

According to sources US is requesting for access in Clark Airfield, Subic bay, Poro Point, and Camp Aguinaldo – general headquarters of AFP. Also, US is considering to ask access for five civilian airports in Palawan, Cebu, General Santos, Laoag, and Batanes for refueling purposes.

While AFP was reported to be offering Oyster Bay in Palawan, Naval Station San Miguel in Zambales, and Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija to further develop the bases.