Hagel: US not seeking bases in PH but more ‘rotational presence’

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President Benigno Aquino meets with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at Malacañang Friday. AFP

MANILA, Philippines – US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday that the United States was not seeking to build permanent military bases in the Philippines but an increase in “rotational presence to benefit both our militaries”.

Hagel is on an official visit here, with the Philippines as the last stop on his Southeast Asia itinerary.

“The United States does not seek permanent bases in the Philippines. That would represent a return to an outdated Cold War mentality. Instead, we are using a new model of military cooperation befitting two great allies and friends,” he told reporters in a televised press conference in Malacanang.

The US chief said he was looking to increase rotational presence just like in neighboring countries.

“I’m looking to increase our rotational presence here as we have done recently in Singapore and Australia. Such an arrangement would benefit both our militaries by increasing our ability to train and operate together. Deepening engagement opportunities between our forces would further support President Aquino’s defense modernization agenda.” he said.

The Philippines, an ally of the US, is working on an agreement that would give the US access to military facilities in the country – a move seen to counter China’s expanding military presence in the disputed (West Philippine Sea) South China Sea.

The Philippines and US began their second round of talks in Washington on Thursday to discuss the decision to increase the rotational presence of US forces in the Philippines.

The Philippines and China are locked in a territorial dispute over areas of West Philippine Sea, and the Philippines has sought the United Nations arbitration to solve the disputes.

The US, meanwhile, expressed hope that the dispute be resolved peacefully and at the same time lauded the Philippines’ efforts to solve it through peaceful means.

“The [US] supports ASEAN efforts to negotiate a South China Sea code of conduct which will help peacefully manage disagreements and tensions arising from competing territorial and maritime claims. In the meantime we encourage nations to peacefully resolve their disputes through internationally accepted mechanisms and in accordance with international law, including the law of the sea and without coercion or militarized attempts to alter the status quo,” he said.

“The [US] appreciates the Philippines’ efforts to solve its dispute through peaceful means,” he added.

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  • INQ_reader

    After 15 years of VFA, the Abu Sayyaf continues to kidnap Filipinos and foreigners alike. More american troop presence will not solve anything.

    • Guest

      Our very presence is security enough.

  • opinyonlangpo

    Wake up. The US will not fight a war against China for the sake of the Philippines. Hoping for someone to come will only weaken the Philippines, better set up a credible defense capability. But still it will not be able to stand up against the overwhelming Chinese military. Peaceful solution is still preferable for both disputing countries.

    • ApoNiLolo

      Now, this is what I call “looking at reality straight in the face”! Speak softly but carry a stick!

      • buttones

        Bit of a misquote but close enough,,,,,,,,,,,,

      • ApoNiLolo

        Not really. I did that on purpose. “A big stick” would be inappropriate for a country like ours, don’t you think? : )

    • Mao Tse Tsunggu

      The peaceful solution is for China to stop grabbing Philippines’ territory in West Philippines Sea.

      • 33Sam

        YOU ARE MISSING A FEW ITEMS. THE LITTLE SHOALS AND REEFS ARE NOT THE REAL TARGETS..

      • boogli anak- dami

        sino ang target? yung mga kasamahan mong nakawalang sira ulo sa mental

    • boogli anak- dami

      di naman na siguro tao sa tao kung makikipaggyera ang kano sa mga singkit

    • freedom of navigation

      Wake up. Some unfriendly neighbors are digging up our black sands in incredible volume and destroying our environment.

    • screwell

      US will probably not fight China for the sake of Philippines but they surely will do for the sake of freedom and democracy. Give peace a chance!

  • User Guest

    tuta ng kano … aw aw

    • yew_tan

      Tuta ng insik Har har har…..

    • Bonggebongge

      Eh pti nga pagkapanganak mo sa mundong ito pakana ng U.S. eh…

    • boogli anak- dami

      napgiiwanan ka na ng panahon nung 70’s pa yang sinasabi mong yan wawa ka naman

    • boogli anak- dami

      apply ka ulit ng us visa baka makakuha ka na di ka na galit sa kano he he he

    • kulkat8

      Pulgas ng Intsik.

  • buttones

    Sorry Aquino, but you look retarded, …….

    • ARIKUTIK

      The teethed smile had mesmerize thousands of gullible voters aided by tiny ribbon in a shirt. It resemble a pupil with honor.

    • Dayunyor Binay

      the looks doesn’t count but it is that exceptional performance as a leader that will count the most…..ikaw pangit na wala pang utak…..

    • screwell

      I think i wanna marry you ;)

      • Dayunyor Binay

        just screw her up to the limit and hear her screams of total satisfaction…..

      • screwell

        Sorry but i’ll do it my way

  • go88

    Now rotational just became a synonym of permanent.

  • Garote

    Hagel, who are you trying to bluff? The US wants to be here not because it wants to fight China for our cause, it wants to be here in the Phil. so that the US would not be the target of any nuclear weapon but the Phil. in case WW3 would start, which the US is provoking against Syria, Russia and China. So why don’t you Hagel F_CK Off!

  • Garote

    Pres. P-Noy you are a US puppet and a traitor to your country.

  • screwell

    If a picture paints a thousand words…?

  • 33Sam

    AMERICAN SOLDIERS ARE WAKING UP TO THEIR GLOBALIST CONTROLLED GOVERNMENTS INSANITY!!!

    THE PHOTOS SHOW A GROWING TREND OF MUTINY:

    http://static.infowarsDOTcom/bindnfocom/2013/09/military.jpg

    AMERICA WHERE ARE YOU NOW

    DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS

    DON’T YOU KNOW WE NEED YOU NOW

    WE CAN’T FIGHT ALONE AGAINST THE MONSTER!!!

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