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. …

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