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What Went Before: Subic Naval Base

Crewmen stand atop the USS Louisville upon arriving at Subic Bay in northern Philippines, Monday, June 25, 2012. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—On Sept. 16, 1991, the Senate voted 12 to 11 to reject a new bases treaty with the United States, citing the pact as “one-sided and unequal.” The agreement would have allowed the US to keep Subic Naval Base for 10 more years in exchange for about $200 million in aid.

The last US ship and helicopter carrier, the USS Bealleau Wood, sailed away from Subic Bay in November 1992, ending nearly a century of US military presence in the Philippines. For the first time in so many years, the Philippine flag flew alone over the base.

In May 1999, the Senate ratified the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), voting 18 to 5. The VFA paved the way for large-scale joint military exercises, called Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder), between Philippine and US forces. It allowed US servicemen to return to the Philippines after the closure of the US bases in Clark and Subic in 1991 and 1992.

US soldiers arrived for the first Balikatan exercise in February 2000, the first of many.

Last April, some 2,000 Filipino troops and 4,500 US troops participated in the annual large-scale military exercises, the 28th such bilateral exercise. Last year’s Balikatan included, among others, field training exercises on counterterrorism and maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response command exercises.

Source: Inquirer Archives

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Tags: Subic Naval Base , USS Bealleau Wood , VFA , Visiting Forces Agreement

  • kanoy






    2-Mrs Lapid first raised the suspicion of US authorities in November
    2010 when she failed to declare $40,000 after a flight from the
    Philippines to Las Vegas. Customs found the money inside two socks and a
    cloth bag concealed in the lining of a suitcase.

    A subsequent investigation determined Lapid had conspired with others
    to make 23 cash deposits between January 2009 and June 2010 at multiple
    banks in the Las Vegas area, authorities said.




    • Crazy_horse101010

      and in the court systems guess who wins that is if your case ever gets to court.

    • Sammy Delarna Antonio

      Very good point you raised kabayan.

  • jeff justice

    Lest we all forget, here are scoundrels who kicked the US forces out of this country
    and enabled the Chinese to grab our islands and set up bases in our own doorstep:

    Joseph Estrada, Juan P. Enrile, Bobby Tanada, Teofisto Guingona, Victor Ziga, Ernesto Maceda, Butz Aquino, Sotero Laurel, Orlando Mercado, Jovito Salonga, Aquilino Pimentel and Rene Saguisag .

    Remember these 12 rotten Filipinos

    • Crazy_horse101010

      wonder if they collected any money from china.

      • http://www.facebook.com/noelsantos37 pathfinder093

        wala kamong utak yang mga iyan..iniisip lang ang ngayon..hindi ang kinabukasan..gusto lang matawag na mga bayaning ampaw!

    • BIGButo

      They made a big mistake!

    • gisingpinas

      Some of this guys went into hidding in USA during marcos, and when they come back they want all US forces out. Mga walang utang na loob.

      • BIGButo

        Yes one of them was Enrile and now he is a senator. That is crazy.

    • joboni96


      maligned by a rotten traitor little brown imperialist call center agent

    • Sammy Delarna Antonio

      Few years after, when Estrada became president, Maceda was appointed as ambassador to the US.

    • Sammy Delarna Antonio

      Can you refresh us who were the 11 senators who voted to retain the US bases?

  • pinoyobserver

    Katangahan para paalisin. Ang Bansang Hapon ay nagbabayad ng singkuwenta porsiyento ng gastusin para magkaroon ng base ang mga Amerikano sa bansang Hapon. Ang pangatlong pinakamayamang bansa sa mundo. Inutil at hangal ang mga Senador na bumoto para paalisin ang mga Amerikano dahil wala naman silang nagawa para magtaguyod ng kabuhayan para sa mga libo-libong Pilipino na nawalan ng kabuhayan at higit sa lahat, na maitaguyod and kakayahan ng AFP kaya ang Pilipinas ay pinagtatawanan ng Tsina at Malaysia.

  • joboni96

    sipain na yang mga imperialist navy
    collaborator mercenary companies dyan


    • BIGButo

      Communist Chinese trader! How much does your government pay you in the spy center.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Psiitoon-Charoenkrung/100001362990665 Psiitoon Charoenkrung

      ikaw ang dapat sipain kasi kumonista ka cguro. ganyang mga tao ang winawasak ang katahimikan at kasaganaan ng bansa

  • ChinaObserver

    From the 1950′s until 1991, about 400 Filipinos were recruited every year to serve in the United States Navy out of Subic Naval Base, Olongapo and Sangley Point, Cavite. These Filipinos have gone on to have successful careers in the US Navy and some have even become commissioned officers in the service. In the process, they have sponsored their parents and siblings to immigrate to the US and become naturalized US citizens themselves. The many hundreds and hundreds of Filipino-Americans in the US, some already American born from 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, had their roots in Subic and Sangley Point.

  • Amador Amor

    I wholeheartedly agree with the bloggers here concerning the mistake these 12 morons did when they decided to reject the retention of the US bases in 1991. I am proud to say that I worked in Subic Naval Base for 23 yrs.and my job helped me and my family in our daily existence then. I am also proud to admit that almost 70% of former Base employees are now in the US, working feverishly and at the same time, contributing dollars to the Philippine government coffer. Even though we are naturalized citizens, we continue to contribute to the economy of our country for we remain Pinoys in blood and in heart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Psiitoon-Charoenkrung/100001362990665 Psiitoon Charoenkrung

    They must be called the dirty 12 who placed the security of the country in peril. China was bullying the Philippines because the american presence were not there anymore. Instead of impeaching others, these 12 must be impeached and punised for treason

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