UP prof doubts Hagel’s no-bases line

A+
A
A-

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. AP Photo

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—A university professor, whose input  helped the Senate reject the extension of a bases treaty on Sept. 16, 1991, doubts the assurances made by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the United States would not revive permanent bases in the Philippines.

Professor Roland Simbulan of the University of the Philippines said Hagel’s statement masked a US strategy that intends to “consolidate US interventionary forces in the Asia Pacific.”

Simbulan said the US had “long wanted to move a significant number of its forces from the 1st US Marine Expeditionary Forces to the Philippines from Okinawa [Japan], where they have committed heinous crimes ranging from the rape of Okinawan school children to environmental destruction during live fire military exercises.”

He said that as early as 2003, 12 years after the Senate voted to close the Subic Naval Base in Zambales, Camp John Hay in Baguio City and Clark Air Base in Pampanga, the US set up administrative, training, logistical and communications structures inside Philippine Army bases.

In 1999, then President Joseph Estrada, one of the senators who rejected the bases treaty, signed the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) which authorized joint military exercises by American and Filipino troops in the country.

The Philippine bases, Simbulan said, still perform the functions of an American-controlled base. “They may call it any name, but it is still a base to project US military forces for their military missions,” he said.

The Philippines, Simbulan warned, would be a “disposable pawn in America’s economic and political rivalry with China.”

He said the Philippines’ role in American strategic programs allows the US access to resources in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

He said members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China were the “real stakeholders” who should share maritime and offshore resources with the Philippines.

Inquirer Viber
  • Tags:

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

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

editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos