Latest Stories

Hagel to meet with Aquino on US troops


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is scheduled to meet with President Benigno Aquino III this week to discuss the current negotiations for the framework agreement on the increased rotational presence of American soldiers in the Philippines, the US Department of Defense said Friday.

Hagel will also be meeting with his counterpart, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.

The framework agreement that would pave the way for more US troops coming to the Philippines and giving them access to military facilities is largely viewed as a deterrent to China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

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

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

Hagel is in Honolulu, Hawaii, his first stop on a weeklong, four-nation tour of the Southeast Asian region where he would be attending the Asean Defense Ministers Meeting Plus in Brunei.

Hagel will be in Manila on Aug. 29 and 30.

Two weeks ago, the Philippines and the United States began the negotiations for the framework agreement on the increased rotational presence of US soldiers in the Philippines, where the Americans can have access to the military facilities of the country.

The framework, however, would not include the operational details so as not to compromise national security, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) had said.

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

The DFA has explained the need for an increased rotational 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 has stressed that its new defense policy was not for a basing agreement for the US military which the Constitution prohibits.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Albert Del Rosario , Ayungin Shoal , Benigno Aquino III , Chuck Hagel , MDT , Mutual Defense Treaty , Panatag Shoal , US Department of Defense , US troops , Voltaire Gazmin

  • rolando mendoza

    Malay ba ng mga sundalo na dugo nga ng tao yun at hindi dugo ng hayop ?

  • Anonymous

    Huwag naman sana, pero baka naman President Noynoy will return the occupied camp to the MILF “lost command”?

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Bus kills pedestrian before falling into Olongapo City ravine – report
  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace