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PH, US must honor Edca

Military allies in the Philippines and the United States must fulfill their commitments under the

Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), as both countries prepare for a change in leadership amid the specter of China’s muscle flexing, experts said.

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The agreement is vital to the Philippines’ security and the US commitment to international law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, said Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

“I think it’s critical for both countries to commit that the Edca be fulfilled, Washington has a responsibility here too,” Poling said in Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday.

Poling was one of the speakers at a forum on the implementation of the Edca, which was upheld by the Supreme Court early this year.

Poling noted that the incoming president appeared to be skeptical about US commitment to Edca, and conceded more work was needed to convince President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of that.

“Without United States’ assistance, the Philippines cannot attain a minimum credible defense posture in the near to medium term,” he said.

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TAGS: EDCA, Features, Global Nation, US bases
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