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Lorenzana: US to build, fix facilities in PH camps under EDCA

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By Francis Wakefield

The enhanced defense cooperation agreement (EDCA) is still on despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier pronouncements against the United States, defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday, January 26.

In a press briefing at the DND headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Lorenzana relayed word from Pentagon officials that they will start constructing some facilities in the camps chosen under EDCA:

  • Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga
  • Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
  • Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City

“They will fix the runway and put up facilities also for their troops, storage for their belongings if they are here but they can leave the building there and leave then come back again. That is the idea of EDCA,” he added.

FILE—Filipino and American soldiers trooped around as they looked closely in one of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) vehicles included during the Balikatan Exercises at the Crow Valley Reservation in Capas, Tarlac on a Thursday, 14th of April. It is a twine attack helicopter specializing on air assaults. Balikatan exercises is an annual Philippine-US military bilateral training wherein almost 9,000 combined troops participate in maintaining and developing tight security relationship between the two countries' armed forces. This is the 32nd year of the Balikatan exercises. (Camille Ante) | Manila Bulletin

FILE—Filipino and American soldiers trooped around as they looked closely in one of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) vehicles included during the Balikatan Exercises at the Crow Valley Reservation in Capas, Tarlac on a Thursday, 14th of April. It is a twine attack helicopter specializing on air assaults. Balikatan exercises is an annual Philippine-US military bilateral training wherein almost 9,000 combined troops participate in maintaining and developing tight security relationship between the two countries’ armed forces. This is the 32nd year of the Balikatan exercises.
(Camille Ante) | Manila Bulletin

Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte is aware of the situation.

“He’s okay with it, he’s okay with EDCA. He said we will honor all agreements that were entered into by the previous government,” Lorenzana said.

EDCA—a supplemental agreement to the existing visiting forces agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the U.S.—was signed by former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and former United States ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg in Manila on April 28, 2014.

When asked when the projects will start, Lorenzana said they still don’t have any details on that.

“We don’t know, it depends on the U.S. because they couldn’t appropriate. That’s what they told us last year. They couldn’t appropriate money until the issue of EDCA is ruled by the Supreme Court. So the SC ruled in January last year and it took them so many months until October last year also for the funding to be approved. So that’s part of their funding for fiscal year 2017.

“They have funding but we do not know when they will start constructing some of the facilities that we agreed on,” he added.

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  • Idoy

    Why is it that Philippines cannot stay away from military economy? In Philippine history, Japan attacked the Philippines because of American military presence. In the cold war, Marcos Martial law was created to attack the NPA army opposing the presence of American forces in the Philippines, now the americans forces are back for potential cold war with china. WHEN CAN PHILIPPINES TAKE A BREAK FROM MILITARY BULLSHT?

  • Eugene

    There is increasing evidence that the US planned, directed, supported, and possibly even participated in a raid by Philippine Special Action Force police which killed a leading terrorist in Mindanao on Jan. 25, but which then precipitated a battle with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resulting in the killing of 44 police and an uncertain number of MILF soldiers and civilians. While US special forces and CIA have been in Mindanao since 2002 (on highly questionable legal grounds—the Philippine Constitution forbids foreign bases or foreign forces in combat on its soil), the claim is that they only train and advise Philippines military forces. If it is confirmed that the US ran this disastrous failure, it will be yet another case of Obama’s criminal and incompetent military adventures

    • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

      Pnoy asked for help to monitor the situation from Zamboanga. But it is the PNP’s stupidities and arrogance that botched this whole deal not CIA. Inept and incapable police trying to do the AFP job.

  • Avery-23

    That is for the benefit of US troops who are stationed there! And guess who pays for the operating costs (including high electrical usage due to massive air-conditioning and super computer usage)? The Philippines. Duterte needs to stop this immediately.

    • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

      Where are you getting your info? From NDF? You are just plucking figures from thin air.
      You can’t stop it and if you do there are dire consequences. Live with it.

      • Avery-23

        Is that what the kanos think? Wait till Duterte hears about it.

        • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

          It is not the Kanos. It is you who need to prove yourself where your facts are coming from. Yeah thin air. Hakahaka lang.

          • Avery-23

            Naku namna kano! Magdila ka na nga diyan ngpuet!

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            Yan ang problem nyo. hanggang puet ka lang.

          • Avery-23

            Eh yun lang naman ang naiintidihan mo eh.

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            Unggoy. Hanggang puet ka lang.

          • Avery-23

            Eh yun lang naman naiintindihan mo eh. Read my original post.

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            You started it so you eat my crap.

          • Avery-23

            Naku! Ikaw yung kano kaya ikaw yung mahilig kumain ng tae.

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            Unggoy.

          • Avery-23

            Unggoy! Sabi ni Vice, ang galing galing mo daw magdila ngpuet! Felz na felz niya daw.

          • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

            Unggoy. Puet lang ang gusto mo.

          • Avery-23

            Naku! Eh bat sabi ni Vice ang galing galing mo daw magdila ng puet?