Manila and Washington announced an agreement to allow the US military to use four more strategic military bases of the Philippines under the defense cooperation agreement.
The Pentagon announced today that the Philippines and the United States have agreed to add four new locations in strategic areas of the Philippines to the bases that US troops are allowed to use on the territory of the Southeast Asian country.
This is part of an effort to accelerate the comprehensive implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States. Previously, US troops were allowed to use five military bases in the Philippines.
Access to the four new bases will improve humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities in the Philippines, as well as respond to common challenges, US officials said.
“The United States has allocated $82 million to invest in infrastructure at five previous EDCA bases that will support economic development and create jobs for local communities,” the statement said. The Pentagon report contains a paragraph.
The statement did not disclose the specific locations of the four new bases that the US military is allowed to use. A former Philippine defense official earlier said the United States had asked the country to grant access to bases on the northern island of Luzon and the southern island of Palawan.
The United States deployed a large-scale garrison in the Philippines after World War II, including two facilities in the country that were once Washington’s largest overseas bases. However, Philippine authorities in 1991 terminated the agreement and demanded the return of all military bases by the US.
The EDCA was approved by both sides in 2014, which gives the US access to four air bases and one army base in the Philippines with a rotating garrison deployment.
Experts say two military bases on Luzon island, in the northern Philippines, are among the places the US military wants to have access to to ensure a strategic position to deploy operations in the event of a conflict. In the area. This island is located in the area where American warships from the Pacific Ocean often pass through to enter the East Sea.
The Philippine official said increased military cooperation with the US “is a good sign for the defensive posture”, but insisted the effort “is not aimed at any specific country”, adding that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is “closely monitoring developments” in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
Vu Anh (Theo Reuters)