US may use PH bases if it will benefit both nations—DFA


DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The United States will only be allowed to use Philippine bases if it will be “mutually beneficial” for both countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.

“The Philippines will only allow the use of its facilities provided it is mutually beneficial for both parties and in accordance with the Philippine constitution and our laws,” DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters in a press briefing Monday.

Citing Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Hernandez said that the US and the Philippines “continue to talk about the modalities and the parameters for increased rotational presence of US forces.”

Gazmin previously stated that no new bases will be constructed in the Philippines, instead, the US and other allies will be allowed access to present facilities. Foreign military bases are banned under the 1987 constitution.

The US and the Philippines have conducted joint naval exercises several times in the country, the most recent of which is a five-day naval exercise off Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“Most of the activities now that we have with the US fall under the Mutual Defense Forces treaty that we have and the visiting forces agreement,” Hernandez said.

China has recently become more aggressive in asserting its claim over the West Philippine Sea and has increased its presence with fishing vessels escorted by naval and law enforcement ships.

The US on the other hand, is set to implement its “pivot” to Asia through the reassignment of 60 percent of its naval fleet in the region.

“What is important is whatever policy we are able to negotiate with the US, it should be mutually beneficial for both the Philippines and the US, and that it is in accordance with our laws, specifically with our Constitution,” Hernandez said.

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  • Attackcat53

    One way of buying some time, to be able to upgrade our AFP. After all, we all know that US will be reluctant to merged itself into a conflict especially now that their economy is down. Reactivate Reserve Officers Training Corp, same as well, PMT in High School so that it will be easy for the Government to mobilized contingencies for our depleted Armed Forces. China is always full of surprises! We must prepare now before it’s too late.

  • NoWorryBHappy

    US may use PH bases IF (read, IF) it will benefit both nations
    This is GOOD NEWS.
    Our politicians are now realizing the fact that American support
    is an ILLUSION. A MYTH. We should take the INDEPENDENT path the way
    that Vietnam and Malaysia are taking. We have to deal with China on
    our own. OUR GREATEST ENEMY is OURSELVES: our belief that America
    will always be there to defend us. WE HAVE TO HELP OWN OURSELVES.
    At the same time, we send the message across oour Asian neighbors
    that PH is NOT an American puppet. We start to earn their respect and keep it
    that way.

    • 1Fz20

      this should be imbedded in the minds of our leaders/politicians. we must stick to our afp modernization plans and have the will power to just consider any materiel America doles-out as extra and not succumb to be totally dependent on them.

  • TulisangDagat

    hindi pa huli ang lahat ang China eh nagpapalakas ng puwersa sa karagatan habang ang mainland eh malapit ng maghirap building a lot of infrastructure and it’s like a bubble that will burst waiting to happen

  • Pod Racer

    Put back US bases and open to all Allies this way we don’t need to spend $100Billion to build defenses and acquire military hardware but MAKE NO MISTAKE AGAIN ESPECIALLY TO SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN, aside from that, we need to build our defenses and modernize our military

    Also, executive branch should veto congress pork barrel by half and add that to defense budget for the remaining years of Noynoy, after all, this is intended for national interest which will directly benefit to all Filipino. Remember our Military modernization has been forgotten for many many many years. Pork barrel and inuna nyo…

  • Garaybul

    Give USA full privilege to use our bases. So that they can park several jet fighters in the air field and several ships in the port. Right away we will feel secured and our seaside would be nice and quiet.

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