19 Mar Lumbia Airport of CDO Included Among “EDCA Agreed Locations” Where US Bases Are To Be Built
Lumbia Airport of Cagayan de Oro is one among the “EDCA Agreed Locations” where Americans can develop and build facilities under the Enhanced Defense Agreement Cooperation (EDCA) as identified in the course of the 6th Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held in Washington DC. Below is the complete list:
- Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
- Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga
- Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija
- Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro
- Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan
According to a statement from the Philippine embassy in Washington DC, the said annual dialogue was co-chaired by Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel and Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear for the US, and Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Evan P. Garcia and Undersecretary of National Defense Pio Lorenzo F. Batino for the Philippines.
On the other hand, nationalists argues with it saying that the re-establishment of foreign military bases violates the Charter. The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan expressed their disapproval towards the plans for the five Philippine bases. They call the agreement a “midnight deal” accusing the government being desperate in approving the “agreed locations” in a rush before current president Noynoy Aquino steps down near June 30. And whenever a new president has been determined, termination of EDCA will be demanded according to Bayan seceretary general Renato Reyes Jr.
“[Aquino] will go down in history as the president who brought back US bases to our shores,” said Reyes.
Back to the dialogue, US assistance to the modernization of AFP was also discussed. Included is the US defense department’s proposal in allocating a significant ammount under the Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative in the 2016 fiscal year. It is for the mutually agreed projects that supports the Philippines’ maritime security priorities.
Other topics brought up during the meeting were investments, customs, intellectual property rights, agricultural trade issues and the US Generalized System of Preferences.