Palace stands by Duterte’s US arms unloading claim
Malacañang stood by the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte that the United States (US) was “unloading arms” in the Philippines.
“[On] where he got the information, I cannot tell you that. But he seems to be privy to some sort of information,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters in a press briefing.
During a late night press conference shortly before Sunday, Duterte accused the US military of constructing “permanent” arms depots in the country in violation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the US.
“They’re unloading arms in the Philippines now … I am serving notice to the Armed Forces of the United States: Do not do it. I will not allow it,” the President said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US have denied Duterte’s claims.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said the US was expected to start building storage facilities within the year at the Philippine military bases that would be used for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).
Lorenza said Duterte was aware of the plan to build facilities in certain bases in the country.
But during the late night presscon, the President said he would not allow the construction of any facility in these bases, saying it was in violation of Edca.
Abella said Duterte “may have come upon other information which may have affected his later comments,” he said. CDG
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