Palace: US bases to return only in cases of ‘war,’ ‘emergency’

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Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said on Sunday the possible return of United States military bases to the country as stated by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was a “mere scenario in case of an extreme emergency” arising from the Korean crisis.

“The secretary was talking about a scenario and that is part of his job as secretary of national defense to look at all possible outcomes, especially in matters related to national defense,” said deputy press spokesperson Abigail Valte in an interview over dzRB radio.

Last Friday, when asked about the imminent threat of a nuclear strike by North Korea on South Korea, Gazmin said: “In case of extreme emergency, then there are extreme measures to be undertaken. Maybe this (return of US bases) is one of them.”

“This is not about the present situation. This is only in case of extreme emergency like… a possible war. That was the context of Secretary Gazmin’s reply,” said Valte.

In the same interview, Gazmin said he was fully aware of the Constitution’s ban on nuclear weapons.  The Americans abandoned Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Base 21 years ago, ending nearly a century of US military presence in the country, when Mt. Pinatubo exploded.  The American bases were shut down for good when the Philippine Senate voted to strike down a new basing agreement forged by the Philippine and US governments at the time.

But even with the abrogation of the Philippine-US military bases agreement, American soldiers continue to be perennial visitors to the country with a 62-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) still in place. Under the MDT, the Philippines and the US forged a Visiting Forces Agreement, that provides the protocol for the annual war games and other training programs, now known as the “Balikatan” exercises, involving US and Philippine military forces.

This weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines invited students and relatives of its soldiers to observe aspects of the Balikatan exercises, which are ongoing.

“The gesture is one of the innovations of this year’s Balikatan and forms part of an effort to immerse the youth and give them the opportunity to interact with Balikatan participants,” the AFP said in a statement.

The AFP said 25 Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) cadets from the University of the Philippines observed the “static display” of American and Filipino soldiers, and a flight demonstration of F/A-18 Hornets jet fighters at Clark on Saturday. They also checked out the V-22 Osprey, a transport plane known for its vertical takeoff and landing capability.

Over 200 relatives of Filipino soldiers and students from Bulacan State University and College of St. Benilde also watched a demonstration of an “explosion scenario and casualty evacuation” at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

Despite the tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and the Korean Peninsula, the AFP maintained that the two-week military exercise was focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster response programs. With a report from Marlon Ramos

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  • $18209031

    Secs Gazmin and Del Rosario , both had spoken about the return of US bases. These were no coincidence. These were joint statements done in succession. WHo authorized them to speak openly ? Of course the next time we’ll hear is Pres Aquino allowing the return of US Seventh Flt into Subic and USAF at Cubi Point. These would preclude by manipulating the Abrogation Law enacted last 1992—thus paving for the return of US bases into PinoNation.

    • Crazy_horse101010

      blah blah blah same old ranting just like a squeaky wheel.

      • $18209031

        Pisot na kabayo! Go shzt in your pen.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        sorry i dont want to shzt in your food even i have manners lol

      • BIGButo

        Communist how much does the Chinese government pay you to post your stupid comments on this blog. You must be working in the Chinese army spy building. Tell you’re government to free the Chinese people

    • kulkat8

      So,what is your problem with the return of American bases in the Philippines? You are a Chink so it is none of your business. Majority of Filipinos are in favour for the return of those bases and there is nothing you can do about that.

    • BIGButo

      Welcome USA bases to the Philippines.

  • Albert Einstien

    MY people the ONLY RELEVANT thing we can GIVE to our
    country is PATRIOTISM….don’t SELL it …….!

    if our OWN LEADERS like pnoy & dfa…don’t respect the constitution..why will US & MALAYSIA or other nation & people respect us..!

    what is the use of US without NUCLEAR in our territory..? our constitution
    prohibits nuclear in any part of our territories…US really wanted to stay in
    SEA & PACIFIC ..because they still believed that they OWN us…it is strategic for them , they bought us from spain for $20 million & world resources are here…

    let’s just look at malaysia alone….. Wikileaks cable on declassified
    diplomatic documents that have been released, it was stated that Kuala
    Lumpur sought the help of the United States by way of its intervening in its
    dispute with the Philippines over Sabah sometime in 1973……. when in fact US
    ( even formally advised UK that SABAH is RP territory ) , UK &MALAYSIA knew
    SABAH is RP territory………………..why did they helped malaysia instead
    of RP in 1973 they stopped our AFP modernization …& prohibited THE
    SUCCESSFUL santa barbara MISSILE defense program & NUCLEAR program of
    marcos…..MARCOS GDP growth in 1973 is already at 9.2 HIGHEST in our HISTORY
    till NOW. ( pnoy is already JUMPING to heavens with meager 6.6 while gma growth
    is 7.6 ) ….. ..US greed dictates their policy towards us…their companies
    are making a KILLING of revenues in our resources claimed by malaysia together
    with UK…. .( ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Nippon Oil, and Murphy Oil are
    malaysia’s contractors.aside from PETRONAS malaysian govt owned..Petronas alone
    , provides about 40% of the federal MALAYSIA budget in taxes, dividends and
    royalties.).

    As you can see MALAYSIA’s wealth is COMING from ROBBERY of RP & BRUNEI resources …

    Brunei’s $arawak ga$ (123% higher than peninsular malaysia ) 38.5761 trillion cubic feet & BRUNEI’s $ARAWAK Oil ( 62.5% of peninsular malaysia ) 1.5 Billion Barrels

    RP’s $ABAH OIL ( 83.33% of that peninsular malaysia of 2.4 bb ) 2.0 Billion barrels ( expanding) &
    RP’s SABAH GA$ ( 34.18% of that peninsular malaysia of 31.5549 tcf ) 10.7880 trillion cubic feet ( expanding )

    .. that is why we have REBELS in SOUTH…that is why RP will not PROSPER…SABAH is CASH COW….RP’s SABAH OIL will be DEPLETED in less than 20 years time..SHOULD we WAIT UNTIL they FULLY DEPLETED our SABAH territory of RESOURCES ? EVERYDAY counts..we are losing BILLION$.. HOW much MONEY from SABAH resources MALAYSIA is giving to our POLITICIANS in EXCHANGE for their PATRIOTISM & NOT to CLAIM SABAH is it monthly, annualy or LUMPSUM with profit sharing?

    CONGRESS,PATRIOTIC JOURNALIST, RESEARCHERS & CITIZENS
    of RP should make an honest to goodness INQUIRY of BRIBERY issues pertaining to
    SABAH & MALAYSIA’s EFFORT to bring DOWN our government by instigating &
    supporting REBELLION in the SOUTH for decades now ( congress should declare
    MALAYSIA an ENEMY of the STATE, declare them persona non grata & close
    their embassy here )……be PATRIOTIC my PEOPLE..save our citizens ….save
    our resources….save our POSTERITY …save our FUTURE…!

    • $18209031

      Sabah oil robbery !! What a shame that most Pinos are led to believed that it is now Malaysia’s! Tagaleglegs and Ilocandios , they are the pure robbers for letting the Malayos take Sabah without even putting a fight. The formers are lackies of the Malayo Bhumiputras, socalled brown race of SE Asia !! By failing to stood up for the sovereignty of Sabah in 1963 they were paving the way to all these troubles in Mindanao. They didnt care one bit because they were promised to have a share in its bounty aka Marcos tacit wealth.

      Kaya ang mga Aquixx were so adamant to bring the issue of Sabah since his father openly spoken of it . They wanted to distract the people. Rather they are aiming for their next move which is to take the oil out of South China Sea in concert with US forces and Japland. The only one stopping them now is China .

      While Japland had stolen Diaoyu in 1895 until now it is only China who can put a lid on these thieves. For even the Tagalegs and Ilocandios had failed to reclaim Sabah rich in natural oil and gas for its territorial domain, how can they be the true voice and defender of the Pino People ?

      • Crazy_horse101010

        when did china steal tibet commie lover why are they now killing muslims the uyghurs why arent you saving them yhis ethic cleansing been going on for 2 years but not one peep out of you

      • $18209031

        Uighurs are Chinese muslims. They have the same rights as Han Chinese. Many Uighers are serving in Chinese Military unlike your AFP who dont have muslims for fear of mutiny. How come tagaloglogs refused to help Tausug muslims from rightfully reclaiming their ancestral land of Sabah? Why were you killing them in the Jabidah massacre and decades after that? Why you keep suppressing their will as a people?
        How much Malayo Bhumiputras giving to Manila Govt to keep their hands off the issue of Sabah?

      • Crazy_horse101010

        july 31 2011 the chinese army gave weapons to the hans to kill uyghurs july 19 2011 chinese are killing muslims in xinjiang province. your brainwasher forgot tell you that. and you have to ask the tagalogs im not one. and i never killed a muslim in my life. so why are you saying you. i dont even know who malayo bhumiputras is and never heard of sabah until a couple of months ago ooh china in this century china l killed 2.9 million muslims and over 100000 tibetans along with the 30 million killed because of the red guards in the 60s and 70s japan has not been in war since ww2 china has been in 7 of them mostly by sneak attack

      • $18209031

        Small pea brain horsey shzt have no clue what tagaleglegs been doing to this country. Better for you to shut up and shzt in the pen.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        all i can say is make me show me how brave you are. if not shut up pig humper getting desperate arent you lol

      • Crazy_horse101010

        ps you are right uyghurs do serve in the army. uyghur means target in chinese haw haw haw

      • BIGButo

        Crazy communist!

    • heehe hahaa

      It figures that you would support Marcos. He was the one who brought up the Sabah claim to be a smokescreen while he helped himself to the Nation’s coffers. Then he had his Merdeka project which ended up with him massacring his own people.
      Unfortunately there are still misguided people like you who think that you are forever the victims and everyone else is to be blamed for your own failures. Invest your time and energy in education and projects that will bring your people prosperity and happiness. All you preach is hatred disguised as patriotism.

      You have posted some parts of your post many times but have never stopped to check your facts. The oil in Sabah are not in any areas claimed by the Kirams so stop rubbing your greedy fingers eagerly.

    • joboni96

      sec gazmin – sibakin na ang collaborator na ito

      ipapahamak na naman ang bayan
      sa gerra ng imperyalista

  • disqusted0fu

    This is not about the present situation, neither it is about an extreme emergency, it is about business as usual for the Aquino administration. The Aquino family is so business-minded that they see the presidency in the PH as a big opportunity to create more business for their friends and families.

  • wakats

    If the April 2012 Panatag Shoal stand-off with the chinese bullies, wherein the PH blinked due to insufficiency of naval assets, is repeated in the Spratley Islands like in our own Kalayaan, the likelihood of open hostilities is very probable – in which case the need for the return of US bases must be asked in earnest lest we lose our entire western territories to the greedy chinese bullies.

    The US won’t hesitate for a second lest they surrender the whole south china sea to the absolute control of china – to the chagrin of their important allies like Japan and South Korea and for their own security too…..

  • Ben

    Patriotism isn`t taken for superficial context, nor understand concretely. Patriotism, requires the love for the country….and that means sacrifice in any way you can to help this country to support and buy Filipino made products and revolutionize industrialization, to support and aid in any way they can the modernization of the AFP to make it a potent force even to China, patriotism means that you will give up your life to protect the people and the country from threats from within and without, and patriotism means even to the extent of having a nuclear technology or missile defense or other country`s troops and bases to be based in here to protect us from an imminent threat…that is patriotism….do not distort the real meaning of patriotism.

  • salomeahmad

    This is an admission to reality, the PH can never depend on its own militarily against external/internal threats, be it in the past & the future.

    • billy31

      of course. who can we depend for emergency assistance in times of war? China or Malaysia? only the US of A will come to our aid.

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