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PH: US, allies may use military bases

No new military facilities to be built

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RAISING THE FLAG In a scene old-timers say brings to mind the raising of the US flag during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima, American sailors hoist their flag on the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald as it docks in Subic Bay on Thursday. The ship is taking part in Philippine-US naval exercises. The United States captured Iwo Jima after a bloody battle with Japan in the Pacific. RAFFY LERMA

The Philippines plans to give the United States and other allies access to its military bases under an arrangement that US forces could use to counter China’s creeping presence in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

But contrary to a foreign news report on Thursday that was attributed to unnamed Philippine Navy officials, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the Philippines would not build new air and naval bases.

China had already heard the news and warned that countries with territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea which look for help from third parties will find their efforts “futile.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the strategy was a “path of confrontation” and it would be “doomed.”

The Philippines and the United States on Thursday began five days of joint naval exercises off Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a rich fishing ground within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone that China occupied after a maritime standoff that lasted more than two months last year.

Clarifying the report by the news service Reuters, Gazmin said the Philippines would allow the United States, Japan and other allies access to its existing military bases under an agreement that would be in accordance with the Constitution and the Visiting Forces Agreement.

The 1987 Constitution prohibits foreign military bases in the country.

“Let me clarify issues. No, we are not going to construct bases. We will be accepting access,” Gazmin told reporters.

The government is still preparing the access agreement, Gazmin said.

“After that (the agreement) is done, then we will be allowing it, if and when there is an agreement, access,” Gazmin said.

“Then there will be equipment coming in from the United States. Now as far as Japan is concerned, we do welcome other countries, particularly Japan since Japan is a strategic partner, in accordance with our existing protocols,” he said.

Gazmin spoke at a news conference with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who is in the country for a two-day official visit.

 

Economic plan

Peter Galvez, spokesman for the Department of National Defense, said the plan to move Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy units to Subic Naval Base in Zambales province from Clark Air Base in Pampanga province was a result of the government’s “economic development plan for our regions outside Metro Manila.”

The plan includes decongesting Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila and expanding it to Clark, Galvez said.

“That will affect the current facilities,” he added.

He said the transfer of some of the Air Force’s aircraft to Subic was being studied.

Moreover, Subic has the deep-water port requirements of the Navy’s warships BRP Alcaraz and BRP Gregorio del Pilar, he said.

That Subic is near Panatag Shoal is only “coincidental,” Galvez said.

China suspicious

But China is suspicious about the Philippine bases plan.

Speaking at the Tsinghua World Peace Forum, Wang, without mentioning the Philippines, said countries that “try to reinforce their poorly grounded claims (in the West Philippine Sea) through the help of external forces” will find that strategy a “miscalculation not worth the effort.”

Wang’s comments came days before he is due to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Brunei, which opens Saturday.

The 10-member Asean hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea. For now, a watered-down “Declaration of Conduct” is in place.

The Philippine bases plan coincides with the US “pivot” to Asia, a strategy that will see 60 percent of America’s warships shifting to the region before the end of the decade.

Visiting forces

It would allow the United States and other countries with which the Philippines has visiting forces agreements to station warships, planes and troops within striking distance of Panatag Shoal and parts of the Spratly archipelago within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea that China insists are parts of its territory.

The plan comes amid China’s increasing assertiveness in staking its claims in the sea, sending large flotillas of fishing boats accompanied by warships on so-called fishing expeditions to areas within the territorial waters of the Philippines and Vietnam.

Vietnam and China have fought naval battles in the Paracels, an archipelago in a part of the waterway that Hanoi calls East Sea, while the Philippines has taken its dispute with China over Panatag Shoal to the United Nations for arbitration.

The Philippine bases plan has taken on added urgency since the standoff with China at Panatag Shoal, which Chinese ships now guard, often chasing away Filipino fishermen.

Ayungin dispute

The West Philippine Sea dispute will again loom large over regional diplomacy next week when US Secretary of State John Kerry joins his counterparts from Asean nations and China among other countries for the annual meeting in Brunei.

The Philippines plans to raise the issue of Chinese ships’ “encroachment” near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the Spratly archipelago in the middle of the West Philippine Sea where Manila recently beefed up its small military presence, diplomatic sources said.

China has accused the Philippines of “illegal occupation” of the reef, which is a strategic gateway to an area believed to be rich in oil and natural gas.


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Tags: Military , Military Bases , Philippines , US and allies

  • daniboy2012

    China had already heard the news and warned that countries with territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea which look for help from third parties will find their efforts “futile.”
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the strategy was a “path of confrontation” and it would be “doomed.”……….because of instant wealth the chinese lost their ancient spirituality and sense of humanity. They are goin’ the same direction like Nazi Germany and Empirical Japan…they will be doom…death and destruction will be on their land!!!!

  • BatangSingapore

    welcome back home USA and JAPAN, let us kill all abnormal and yellow colored Chinese in the Philippines.

    VIVA PILIPINAS.

    • DGuardian

      Kung sa Singapore ba ay sabihin na “let us kill all the abnormal and” brown-”colored” Filipinos, ano ba ang magiging feeling at reaction mo? ” Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.”

      • eight_log

        I was really surprised to see words like that from you man!!!! Sa Singapore ka pa naman. DGuardian is absolutely right!!!!!

      • BatangSingapore

        hindi bully ang pinoy ,, tanga.

      • Graymatter28

        Hindi nga bully ang Pinoy, racist lang. lolz

      • BatangSingapore

        welcome back home USA and JAPAN, let us kill all abnormal and yellow colored Chinese in the Philippines. NOW NA.

        VIVA PILIPINAS

  • disqusted0fu

    The PH is becoming desperate. Trying to go against China is becoming one of Pnoy’s fixations that we are becoming so focused on this making us vulnerable to being taken advantage of by other countries.

  • Hellomr

    China against all Asian countries , If Japan attack china and followed by US then followed by Australia ,then followed by all Asian countries… Let see what happened..

  • Moregun Freeman

    Congratulations to you.

  • Crazy_horse101010

    still ranting monko humper. what a pitful loser you are going to entertain with some more of your lies comrade

  • Dayunyor Binay

    IKUMPARA SA LAHI MO NA KUMAKAIN NANG PATAY NA FETUS….AND DUMI NINYONG MGA INTSIK…..HUWAG NIYO NANG DAGDAGAN ANG SARS NA IKINALAT NINYO SA BUONG MUNDO…MAHIYA NAMAN KAYO MGA GANGGONG..HINDI KA DAPAT MAKISULAT DITO KASI HINDI KAYO TAO…MGA ANIMAL KAYO,PATAY NA FETUS NANG TAO KINAKAIN NINYO…

    China, Video, Dead Babies, Dead Babies Flesh, Dead Baby Flesh, Human Flesh Pills, South Korea Smuggling, World News

    SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease, officials said Monday.

    The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.

    The customs office has discovered 35 smuggling attempts since August of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters, and some people believe them to be a panacea for disease, the customs service said in a statement. The capsules of human flesh, however, contained bacteria and other harmful ingredients.

  • PunyeteroKa

    Now this chinkey poo-poo with the all-caps style is back, who was sired by a hyena & mothered by an idiot carrion-eating pig (both of them slit-eyed). How many chinks have AIDS? They f@ck like sows in heat at the back alleys of Shanghai & other places & think nothing about it. What a ranting hypocrite!

  • zeroko

    Cannibals.



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