Philippine Court Clears Way For U.s. Military

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Posted
I know this will stir a heap of protest in the Philippines but my personal opinion is that it is for the good of the country and the people. 

 

Philippine Court Clears Way for U.S. Military

 

MANILA—The Philippines’ Supreme Court gave the green light for U.S. troops to deploy to the Southeast Asian country, approving a controversial defense pact signed in 2014.

 

 

Tuesday’s ruling ends months of speculation about the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, designed to revitalize the 65-year-old U.S.-Philippine alliance two decades after the U.S. military pulled out of the country. The deal had been stalled for nearly two years by a legal challenge.

 

The court announced its 10-4 decision hours before U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of State John Kerry were due to hold security talks with their Philippine counterparts Voltaire Gazmin and Albert Del Rosario in Washington, D.C. While confronting Chinese assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea will still be high on the agenda, the two sides can now focus on implementing a key part of the Obama administration’s strategy of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region.

 

Both countries welcomed the ruling. In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Manila called the security pact “a mutually beneficial agreement that will enhance our ability to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and help build capacity for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.” The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said with the court’s decision that the pact is constitutional, the two countries “can now proceed in finalizing the arrangements for its full implementation.”

 

By ruling that the deal isn’t a new treaty requiring Senate approval but an “executive agreement” legally signed by President Benigno Aquino III, the court ensures that it won’t be abandoned when the term-limited Mr. Aquino leaves office in June. Instead, thousands of U.S. Marines are now expected to deploy in rotations to the Philippines, while U.S. military aircraft and naval ships will increase their presence at Philippine facilities.

 

The Philippines is banking on a restored American presence at Clark Air Base and Subic Bay—once two of the U.S. military’s biggest overseas bases, located near the South China Sea—to provide “deterrence against further Chinese provocation,” according to Richard Javad Heydarian, a security expert at De La Salle University in Manila.

 

“Now that the legal hurdle is overcome, the two allies can enhance their security alliance by increasing the American military footprint on Philippine shores embracing the South China Sea,” said Mr. Heydarian.

 

On Monday China defended its decision to start operating flights from a newly built airstrip in the disputed Spratly Islands, calling the flights “totally within China’s sovereignty.” China claims most of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

 

During a visit to Manila late last year, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to provide two ships to the Philippine Navy, and in Tuesday’s talks the Philippines will be seeking further backing.

 

“The laundry list of needs for the Philippine military is almost endless,” said Gregory Poling of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think-tank, who said the “U.S. can, and should, regularize and broaden the operations it conducts in the Spratlys via the Freedom of Navigation Program” in support of its ally.

 

In return, Manila might commit to joining the U.S.’s freedom-of-navigation operations, which Washington began last year to assert the right to sail and fly close to artificial islands recently built by China, said Mr. Heydarian.

 

The immediate focus, though, will be on upgrading Philippine military facilities to prepare for the arrival of U.S. forces. “The Philippine and the U.S. will have to move quickly” given the pace of Chinese construction in the disputed region, he said.

 


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Posted

Here we go again ..... build up the Philippine military and bases only to get thrown out again later on ..... sure glad I don't live any where near any of these military bases .... JMHO

:cheersty:

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Posted
stir a heap of protest

 

Yes, very few people but they know the techniques to get a lot of publicity.

 

I'm fairly certain that here in Olongapo any new business and jobs are welcome (despite a small contingent upset over the Pemberton case).  There are some new business's opening right in the pier area and I guess they are counting on something coming their way.  There are at least two U.S. support ships in port now.

 

Funny side story.  I needed a haircut, while in Auckland, so the family took me to their guy, Pepito.  Gay Filipino like many hairdressers here in PH.  He did a good job and the family would not let me pay.  I found out later they paid 20 NZD.  I digress.  I'm sitting in the chair chatting, and he was really interested about Pemberton.  I told him (very carefully, as he had sharp objects nearby) my version of what was going on locally about it, and he seemed to understand.  I think he was expecting to hear that all Filipinos were outraged, which is certainly not the case.

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Posted

   The USA will provide a degree of national security protection and pay them to do so in order to maintain SE Asian stabilitiy, The only question is: Will they eventually, for whatever reason,  kill the goose that lays golden eggs.... again ?

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Posted (edited)

It happened under Noy Noy Aquino's Presidency and late in the term. Which was angled for earlier, then as the Chinese problem escalated the time deal became more urgent. His mother Cory Aquino signed off the base closures but it was not her decision. Congress voted the closures and the Senate ratified the decision. She had no choice, she had to sign off the closures.

 

EDIT: It was the Senate which voted not to extend the 1947 Defense Treaty and Cory Aquino had to ratify the Senate decision or face impeachment.

 

In effect. The troops are already here under agreement for training and refueling. This further legitimizes the troop presence, but doesn't authorize the opening of bases. It means (I think) all the troops are here TDY, Temporary duty...6 weeks....up to 6 months.

 

I see this as a good strategic move for both countries.

Edited by chris49
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Posted
an “executive agreement” legally signed by President Benigno Aquino III,

 

Sounds like something Obama would pull off.  Aquino learns quick.

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Posted
I doubt seriously we will see a resurgence of bars

 

You reminded me of something I saw Sunday.

 

I was running some errands and I saw 2 military looking young guys in the Freeport, halfway between the mall and the docks, headed towards the boardwalk and main hotel area of the freeport.  It was around 4 pm.

 

Why was this unusual?  They both had young Filipinas hanging on their arms!  I'm not 100% sure they were military but they looked it.  This is the first time I have seen any military with girls in daylight.  I wonder if the shore leave rules have changed now that the Pemberton trial is done.

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Posted
 This is the first time I have seen any military with girls in daylight.

 

Since I first visited Subic soon after the pull out, I have never seen that. 

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