Entries Tagged as 'Philippines'

Palace welcomes return of US bases

Manila Times
By Catherine S. Valente AND Jefferson Antiporda
April 14, 2013

BECAUSE of the developing security crisis in the Korean peninsula, the Philippine government on Sunday said it would allow the return of US military bases in the country but only in case of “extreme emergency.”

Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte disclosed that no less than Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin broached the idea of allowing the US military to set up bases here again in the light of a nuclear threat by Pyongyang.

In an interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Valte said Gazmin clarified that the move is only one of the options that the country could take to strengthen its defense posture.

“Nilatag po ni Secretary Gazmin ‘yung konteksto ng kanyang naging sagot at sinabi po niya [Gazmin presented the context of his reply and made it clear that it is only] ‘in cases of extreme emergency’,” she added.

However, Valte explained that the return of the US bases does not refer to the “present situation.”

“The Secretary was talking about a scenario at kasama po ‘yon sa trabaho niya bilang [and it’s part of his job as] Secretary of National Defense na tingnan lahat ng posibleng mangyari lalo ho [to consider all possibilities especially] in matters relative to national defense,” she said.

“Only in the case of extreme emergency, ‘yung katulad pong pinag-uusapan na digmaan [like talks of war],” she added

Valte explained that Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution bars US military bases in the Philippines. Allowing the US to set up military bases in the countrt would require a new treaty between the two countries and a nationwide referendum.

However, there is an existing Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States which requires either of the countries to come to the aid of its ally if it is attacked by another country. …

Read on: www.manilatimes.net/index.php/news/top-stories/45480-palace-welcomes-return-of-us-bases

More US troops coming, but no bases, says defense chief

By DJ Yap, Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 22, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday described plans to hold more joint military training exercises with the United States as an “expanded VFA [Visiting Forces of Agreement], but definitely with no bases” involved.

He said the “high value” and “high impact” exercises would benefit the armed forces of both the Philippines and the United States–which would be sending over more troops–although he could not say how many servicemen would be participating on both sides.

“I cannot be definite on the number but definitely there will be more participation of forces from both the US and the Philippines,” Gazmin told reporters at Fort Bonifacio during the 115th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army.

He said the exercises would be different from those conducted in Mindanao, which American forces traditionally visit as part of the annual “Balikatan” joint exercises.

“We are looking at exercises that will be of value to both countries, those high-impact exercises that can help us in a lot of areas,” Gazmin said. …

Read on: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/30307/more-us-troops-coming-but-no-bases-says-defense-chief

Proposed US new naval base in Palawan hit

Philippine Star
By Dennis Carcamo
March 8, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya accused the US government of turning Palawan province into de facto naval base for US troops who will be redeployed to the country once they leave their naval base in Okinawa, Japan.

“The US government wants its 6,000 mercenaries to familiarize with the terrain of the island province and convince Palawan folks that US soldiers are kind, generous and they are their knights in shining armor in vain attempt to make the island as US new Okinawa naval base in the Southeast,” Pamalakaya said in a statement. …

Read on: www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationsubcategoryid=200&articleid=785052

Philippines: Catholic bishop opposes return of US military bases

Spero News
January 17, 2011

The United States is working on re-establishing its military bases in the Philippines, a Filipino bishop said today.

“I have an apprehension that the United States military bases will return,” said Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of the diocese of Marbel in southern Philippines.

“You know why? Everything is there in General Santos City. They have a nice airport – 3.2 km entry point and 400 hectares of land area – it would take in the biggest plane,” the bishop told Church-run Radio Veritas 846 in an interview. …”

The Philippine Senate voted in 1991 to kick out the US military bases in the country. The US was ready to contest the decision but the eruption of Mount Pinatubo which devastated the US military base in Zambales province forced them to decide to quickly move out.

However, the US maintains its military presence in the Philippines under the Visiting Forces Agreement signed during the administration of Joseph Estrada. Under the agreement, US and local soldiers conduct regular war games in many parts of the country.

Read more: www.speroforum.com