FOREIGN Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said the Philippines will respect its military agreements with the United States including the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s intention to review it.
“Sa akin ngayon there’s no need to review the EDCA,” Yasay said in an interview by DZRH.
The foreign secretary explained the Supreme Court had just upheld the constitutionality of the agreement and that the mechanism has already been in place.
“We could review kung may mga provisions doon na hindi na relevant and necessary,” Yasay stressed.
On reports that the document does not bear the signature of former President Benigno Aquino III, Yasay said “hindi ko alam iyang detalyeng iyan sapagkat ang alam natin yung sinabi ng Korte Suprema na it’s constitutional, yung proseso na ginawa yan to approve EDCA has been complied with.”
Duterte, during the opening ceremony of the 37th Masskara Festival in Bacolod City said he will ask for a review of EDCA as he lashed out at the US for allegedly pretending to be a friend of the Philippines while continuously criticizing the country.
The EDCA, which was signed in 2014, aimed to bolster the alliance between the U.S. and the Philippines.
It allows the U.S. to send troops to the Philippines, as well as build and operate facilities on Philippine bases to be used by both Philippine and American troops.
At the same time, under the agreement, six former military bases have been identified to be used by the visiting US troops.
EDCA was signed by former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg.