US defense chief here next week

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U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks at a Pentagon news conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

MANILA, Philippines – US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with President Benigno Aquino III next week to discuss the ongoing negotiations for increased presence of American soldiers in the Philippines, the US Department of Defense said in a statement released Friday (Saturday in Manila).

Hagel will also be meeting with his counterpart, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario during his two day visit on August 29-30.

The agreement that would pave the way for more US troops to be stationed in the Philippines and give them access to the military facilities is being presented to Filipinos by the Philippine government as a deterrent to China’s increasing presence in the West Philippine Sea, the part of the South China sea that the Philippines claims to be within its exclusive economic zone.

The Philippines and China continue to be locked in a territorial dispute, particularly over Panatag Shoal off Zambales province and the Ayungin Shoal in the Kalayaan Island Group or Spratlys.

According to the US statement, Hagel will talk to President Aquino, Gazmin, and Del Rosario “about ongoing negotiations for a framework agreement that would allow US forces to operate on Philippine military bases and in Philippine territory and waters to help build Philippine armed forces capacity in maritime security and maritime domain awareness.”

The US had maintained a military presence in the Philippines from the colonial era right up to the time the Philippine Senate voted against extending the military bases agreement in 1991.

Hagel is currently in Honolulu, Hawaii, the first stop prior to his weeklong, four nation tour of  Southeast Asia for a meeting of defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei.

Hagel will be in Manila on August 29 and 30.

The Philippines and United States began negotiations on the increased presence of US soldiers in the Philippines two weeks ago. US troops are currently maintaining a presence in the Philippines under the two countries’ visiting forces agreement.

The new agreement being hammered out would not include operational details so as not to compromise national security, the Department of Foreign Affairs has said.

Philippine negotiators have explained having a framework agreement was necessary as military activities are not specified in the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Treaty.

The DFA has explained the need for an increased presence of US troops to have “a minimum credible defense posture… to enhance maritime domain awareness and develop a deterrence capability.”

“This can be accomplished through high-impact and high-value joint exercises which promote interoperability and capacity building that will also bolster humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” it said.

The Philippine government maintains that its new defense policy is not for a basing agreement for the US military which the Constitution prohibits.

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  • INQ_reader

    So many words by Philippine and US officials mean nothing unless there is a clear statement that americans are ready to defend Philippine territory and EEZ against China. So far, there is none, and US maintained its neutrality in the territorial issue.

    • walaywalay

      The US asks no one to defend the US and the last ones US blood should be shed for are those who turned their back on the US but still think the US taxpayers should pay for their defense—the US should not base troops in the RP unless the RP gvt pays the US gvt for security forces at RP taxpayer expense—stop the free hand outs

      • opinyonlangpo

        Are you sure? Why do you think they are paying thousands of old FILIPINOS called US veterans? For many decades the USA used Philippine soil during the cold war in their first line of defense against USSR. Now who helped who in defense?

      • kulkat8

        Have you heard about the so called U.S national interests. Have you heard about the so called political U.S political and economic interests in Asia. The U.S plan military pivot to Asia is the idea of American military and political leaders. Why? You ask them.

      • INQ_reader

        It’s fine with me if america gets out of this country. She’s not doing any good anyway. After 15 years of VFA, the Abu Sayyaf are still kidnapping.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        to bad you didnt join them and move to north korea

    • crazy_horse_101010

      its your words that mean nothing so far you havent made sense yet chinese lover

      • INQ_reader

        I’ll make it simple for you: are the americans ready to die in defense of the Philippines against Chinese territorial intrusion?

      • crazy_horse_101010

        and i will make it simple for you get your butt on a plane go to the pentagon and ask them. instead putting out your idiotic postings. understand. that. there is no one in this world that knows until it happens and that includes you the least of all. better yet go to china and ask them if they re willing to die since you re closer to them than.i am you remind of a chicken with its head cut off flopping in every direction but going no where. anyway im not losing sleep over it. i have a life and i dont fear the future.

      • INQ_reader

        Why do I have to do that? The US troops are the aliens in my country. The burden of explaining their presence here lies on their side. The same goes for Chinese intruders into Philippine EEZ. But a case is already filed against China in the ITLOS. Let’s let the legal process roll.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        the only alien here is you posing has filipino but really a omie agent has for the rest why do i care especially puking out of your mouth. has i said before you cant brainwash me but keep trying its funny watching you try

      • INQ_reader

        Your shallow and unsupported arguments are getting even shallower and still without supporting evidence.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        hawhawhaw now that is funny thanks for making me laugh your postings are like a little school girl because of you childish hatred where is your proof af anything moron and tou are so shallow there is no more water in the river LOL . YOU REALLY THINK YOU ARE BOTHERING ME I WOULD BE BUT IM TO BUSY LAUGHING MY BUTT . you re a comedian and make my day thank you for that gives me something to look forward to and laugh at leep it up comrade cant wait for the next one.HEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHEE MY HERO HAW HAWHAW

      • INQ_reader

        Still no evidence from you….

      • crazy_horse_101010

        evidence of what dochebag your stupid remarks life on mars Aand where i the proof of your stupid statements you are the one lying and crying remember . you spread so much crap you cant even remember the manure you have been spreading. so bite junior and care to someone who cares im not the one on trial you are HAWHAHAWHAW

      • INQ_reader

        I’m asking you for evidence that will reverse this statement from US:

        US not coming to PH aid vs China

        By Julie M. Aurelio, Norman Bordadora
        Philippine Daily Inquirer

        1:29 am | Sunday, June 12th, 2011

        The United States yesterday said it will not side with any party in the Spratlys conflict, which is to say that the Philippines’ most powerful ally will not be coming to its aid should its spat with China escalate into a shooting war.

        The US Embassy made this clear yesterday in reaction to a
        Malacañang statement earlier yesterday expressing confidence that Washington would honor its commitment under the two countries’ Mutual Defense Treaty to come to the aid of a beleaguered ally.

        “The US does not take sides in regional territorial disputes,”
        the US press attaché Rebecca Thompson said in an e-mailed statement whencontacted for comment to deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte’s invoking of the 60-year-old MDT.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        sorry didnt even bother reading it i have a life and dont really care about your garbage . i will let history decide not a bunch of ifs ands and buts its stupid to agrue over something that no ones knows about until it happens so dont waste your time on longwinded garbage because im not intersted im only interested in the real world not what ifs understand you see ive been around long enough ti know words mean nothing in ww1 and ww2 america said we will not go to war with germany they did ww2 germant signed a treaty and promised russia they would not attack them they did great britain had a treaty and said we will not go to war with germany that lasted one year. so anyway im not losing sleep over what is said actions speak louder than words understand. let me know when something happens

      • INQ_reader

        15 years of VFA without results is already history. The time to judge is already now.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        i have a saying for you to look up its called a chicken running around with its head cut off running everywhere but doesnt know where it is going. so what are you paying the bill for the vfa . is it causing you pain except in your case it would be mental now look up the word obsessed because junior you have problem . i will lose sleep over the future when it happens not now and i dont have a crystal ball do you and do you really think anyone in history will care yeah right take your meds son you need them

      • INQ_reader

        I know where I’m going. It’s very clear that VFA is not working even after 15 years, and other options need to be explored to solve the Abu Sayyaf problem.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        WHO IN THE FU-KI CARES WHAT YOU THINK get a life because you are totally obsessed over something you have no control over and besides your crap is boring go cry on someone else shoulders junior. you were funny now you ar boring because no one cares peiod

      • INQ_reader

        My posting are based on facts, but yours are not. VFA took effect in 1998 to retraint the Abu Sayyaf threat. But Abu Sayyaf is still alive.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        oh obsessed one who cares tell it to the marines except they would laugh at you you have no facts that anyone cares about especially me because i think you are a fruit cake. and every posting i will say the same thing so sue me HAWHAWHAW PITIFUL OBSESSION

      • INQ_reader

        Isn’t “1998 is the start of VFA” a fact?
        Isn’t 2013 less 1998 equals to 15, a fact?
        Isn’t an idea that is not working for 15 years worth dumping, a fact?

        No to VFA !!!

      • crazy_horse_101010


      • INQ_reader

        Moron – Psychology A person of mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to 12 years and generally having communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education.

        I don’t think somebody like me who backs up his comments with facts can be called such.

        Do you know of somebody who does not back up his opinion with facts?

      • crazy_horse_101010


  • http://www.yahoo.com JOSE RIZAL

    That only means that it’s important part of the US Military Strategy (Pivoting to Asia), the ongoing negotiations of US military presence in the Philippines. It means, we have a negotiating advantage. It has inherent risks, and all things being equal, that risks is worth taking…
    Just be careful with the disadvantageous details of the agreement…

    • walaywalay

      US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with President Benigno Aquino III next week to discuss the ongoing negotiations for increased presence of American soldiers in the Philippines, the US Department of Defense said in a statement released Friday
      American Forces Press Service
      HONOLULU, Aug. 23, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived here yesterday on the first leg of a trip to the Asia-Pacific region to meet with counterparts and leaders from several countries, and to attend a defense ministers meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.
      After the ADMM Plus meeting, the secretary’s final stop will be Manila in the Philippines.

      There, Hagel will talk with President Benigno S. Aquino III, Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin and Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario about ongoing negotiations for a framework agreement that would allow U.S. forces to operate on Philippine military bases and in Philippine territory and waters to help build Philippine armed forces capacity in maritime security and maritime domain awareness.

      “The negotiations just got underway a week ago and will be ongoing for some time,” the defense official said.–A LONG LONG WAY TO GO–COMPARED TO…
      “With Indonesia, we also have a significant increase in defense cooperation over the last several years,” the senior defense official said.
      “Malaysia-U.S. defense ties have dramatically improved over the last several years,” the defense official said. “We’re doing a lot more cooperative activity, [and] we’re doing a lot more together. This is an opportunity for them to really touch base on the bilateral defense relationship and see where we’re headed in the years ahead.”

  • sanjuan683

    Pabalikin na yan sa US hindi natin kailangan yan.

  • mangtom

    sanjuan683: tama ka. Ang kailangan NAMING Filipinos ay mga gaya mong chekwa. Sino ba ang nagaagaw ng islets sa West Philippine Sea? Chekwa o Uncle Sam?

    You shut up, you damm fool.

  • JK1000

    Ganyan lang iyan ! Mapapako na naman ang mga utak natin sa pangako at matatamis na salita. Kailangan ay itanong ni PNoy kung tutulong sila talaga kapag umatake ang China?

  • RyanE

    Sure, we should be nationalistic but at the same time realistic. And reality is we cannot oppose those Chinese intruders military-wise at this point. In the meantime that we are trying to strengthen our own defense capability, let U.S. navy ships roam the WPS as a deterrent against those Chinese intruders.

  • limcat

    oh eto oportunidad nanaman ng mga KSP komunista para mag rally nanaman kayo LOL

  • go88

    China is only interested in taking by Spratly’s and Paracells not the ‘mailand’ Philippines. US wants access to Philippine territory for it’s own interests, the anti-nationalistic oligarchy who works for and is supported by the american uses the populaltion’s fear of an imaginary chinese invasion (of the main islands) and false hope the american would help should this happen. In the end Chinese will get the spratly’s minerals, the americans their bases, it will be business as usual for the oligarchy, and the ordinary filipino will be f*cked.

    • crazy_horse_101010

      why do you care you are chinese not filipino. brainwashed one right comrade the only fear is china wetting its pants because of america, that is why you clones are trying so hard to brainwash everyone

      • go88

        Comrade kano …. China isn’t afraid of the US …. China develops his military technology faster than the USA and it’s allies. You will see in which country will have the most advanced army in 15 years. There is right now an arm race going on between both countries … like the great Soviet Union your country will crumble because you will overextend and be drowned in your own debts and internal problems.
        Look at the state of the USA, spanish will become your first language, gay can marry, your students avoid studying science, most of the goods you consume come from China, a majority americans live on debt with more than one hundred millions of you capitalists depending on printed in China :)- Food Stamps in order to survive.
        Maybe you came to Asia because you got tired of those food stamps and expect a better life here? Most likely you’re a grandfather who got married to a 30 years younger bar-girl and who thinks he can run a successful business in the Philippines? Be carefull my imperialist friend, you will be cheated and loose your money, the only foreigners who succeed in business in the Philippines here are chinese.

      • crazy_horse_101010


  • joboni96

    aba’y national heroes’ day
    pero ibebenta na naman tayo

    ng mga bagong collaborators gasmin delrosario
    surely not heroes

    ang mga ginagawa ninyo ay
    labag sa constitution

    ibigay mo na muna ang panatag
    pero huwag na papasukin ulit mga militar ng imperyalista

    ipapahamak na naman tayo
    sa gerra naman nila sa intsik switik

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