PH, US resume bases agreement talks
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines and the United States begin Monday their seventh, and possibly last, round of negotiations for an Enhanced Defense Cooperation agreement that would give the United States wider access to Philippine military bases amid increasing tensions with China in the West Philippine Sea.
Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, head of the Philippine panel, will give a statement to the media before the two-day talks begin at the Department of National Defense headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo.
The Philippine panel announced two weeks ago the agreement would likely specify that the Philippine military could have access to US facilities that would be set up in Philippine military bases.
Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya, a panel member, said this aspect “has already been agreed to in principle by both panels.”
Malaya also said the Philippines maintains its position that the agreement’s duration “would be shorter than 20 years.”—Nikko Dizon
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