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PH may allow US bases here if …


Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. FILE PHOTO

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Friday raised the possibility of the United States again being allowed to locate military bases in the Philippines if war should break out in the Korean Peninsula.

Gazmin conceded that the Constitution bans the establishment of US bases here.

“But in cases of extreme emergency, then there are extreme measures to be undertaken. Maybe this is one of them,” he said.

US military presence is an emotionally charged issue in the Philippines which in 1992 officially ended 93 years of US basing rights in the country when the US flag was lowered and the US Pacific Fleet sailed away from Subic Naval Base.

A year before, the Senate had voted not to renew the US leases to Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Base, then the two largest US military facilities outside the United States.

Denying US access to military bases was subsequently written into the 1987 Constitution that was drafted after the first Edsa People Power Revolution of 1986.

If war breaks out…

Gazmin and other defense department officials believe that could quickly change if North Korea makes good its threat to launch a nuclear attack on South Korea, the US and its allies in the Pacific.

However, Gazmin clarified that the Philippines and the US have not yet discussed the possibility of setting up US military bases in case war breaks out in the Korean Peninsula.

Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez explained that in the same way that a war in the Korean Peninsula is being discussed in the context of a world war, so is the possibility of basing US forces in the Philippines.

“If war breaks out, will we recommend to Congress to allow the US to have staging areas here? That’s still a question we have to thresh out,” Galvez said.

‘Rotational’ presence

Gazmin pointed out that even in the absence of US military bases, Philippine and US military cooperation can be seen in “exercises and increased rotational presence of American troops here in the area involved in exercises and training.”

The 62-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the US allows an extended stay of US troops in the Philippines.

“But there is a gray area between an actual basing and an extended stay,” Galvez said.

He said that in the event of a war, an advanced command post, for example, would need coordination with land, air and naval assets.

“That is all in the MDT,” he said.

Galvez also stressed that Gazmin was not superseding the Constitution when the defense secretary broached the possibility of basing US troops in the Philippines should tensions in the Korean Peninsula escalate to a full-blown war.

“A good question to ask the Supreme Court is, will the Constitution hold if a world war breaks out?” he said.

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Tags: Korean conflict , Korean Peninsula , Military Bases , Subic Naval Base , US bases , Voltaire Gazmin

  • al gero

    Enrile, Maceda, Estrada, Salonga, Ziga, Butz Aquino, Laurel, Pimentel, Saguisag, Tanada, Guingona, Mercado), Sila ang 12 na pro-China na nagpatanggal ng mga US Bases sa Pinas, with the recommendation of China and the CPP and NPA Huwag natin silang kalimutan! sila ang paharapin sa China na yan ,kaya tayo ninanakawan ng pagaari ng mga China na yan dahil sa kanila

  • BIGButo

    We must change the constitution and bring back the bases

  • BIGButo

    Welcome America!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Boycott.Made.N.China Val Sor

    A constitution is a constitution war or no war. What nonsense are you talking about?

  • wawa2172

    Hmm..well inaanay ang ang US of A kaya limitado na ang budget nito. Thus putting up a military base in the country is no longer possible and basically it is against the constitution except lang kung aprobahan nang Team PNoy as strengthening the Balikatan excercises.

  • Carolina Amin

    yeheyyyyyyy!!! american welcome home !!!!!

  • jpastor

    i really blame the corrupt politicians and govt officials that result of PH military dire situation of unable to defend itself from external threat. I course them of their greed of power and ill-gotten wealth that make the people suffer. Siphoned among themselves billions of pesos that supposed to be used for buying equipment and arms for PH defense.
    I also blame the no-brain voters that continue to be the president-maker of this country. They only think on themselves one day at a time.

  • Albert Einstien

    is USA REALLY our FRIEND & ALLY…? ask yourselves ,the veterans & history..you will see. why is RP EXEMPTED from our best friend’s US Excess Defence Articles (EDA) program…WHY ? just pay our veterans that would be BARYA ayaw pa…

    since 1979 .Egypt has received US$1.3 billion in annual military aid from the US

    NEWS 12/11/2012: Obama approved F-16 fighter jets as GIFT to Egypt : Despite instability due to the new Islamic government in Egypt, the US is sending more than 20 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt as part of a $1 billion foreign aid package. OBAMA providing the more than 20 fighter jets in 2013..The $213 million order, paid for by US taxpayers, will provide the Egyptian air force with newer and, improved resources. Its fleet of current fighter jets are older versions of the F-16s……FREE..FREEEEEE..WoW.

    NEWS February 15, 2011: The Indonesian Military (TNI) has accepted a grant from the United States of 24 F-16A/B Fighting Falcons as part of its overall program to upgrade the Air Force.. the fighters could be upgraded to include technology from the latest f-16s.

    NEWS Fri Aug 24, 2012 : US is giving Indonesia 24 surplus F-16s…FREE.. WoW..

    The United States is giving, not selling,
    Jakarta two dozen second-hand F-16C/D fighter planes to strengthen bilateral
    ties and foster what the Pentagon has called a “much-needed” capability to
    protect Indonesian air space.

    Obama and President Susilo Bambang
    Yudhoyono of Indonesia announced the F-16 transfer near the end of a nine-day
    Asia-Pacific tour that Obama used in November to re-emphasize U.S. interests in
    the region.

    The F-16s are decommissioned and no
    longer part of the U.S. Air Force inventory. Once retooled and upgraded, they
    will boost Indonesia’s “interoperability” with the United States, the Defense
    Department said at the time.

    YAN ang TUNAY naKAIBIGAN..libo libo ang excess at pinamimigay nila ..tayo ITINUTURING natin BIG BROTHER ang US….kawawang RP..ano masasabi mo sir ALBERT spaniel at PNOY terrier….AWOOOOOOO!….

    tapos ITATAYA nyo 100 million na buhay ng mga FILIPINO…wala naman tayong kinalaman jan sa PERSONAL WAR ng US sa NK…

    • jpastor

      Good point.
      I think it is about energy security.

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