Recto to Marcos: Disclose location of new Edca sites, reason for expansion
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto urged the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday to disclose where the four new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites are and what triggered the expansion of the United States access to Philippine military bases.
Recto said this in light of the defense chiefs of the Philippines and the US announcing that Edca sites in the country will be augmented from five to nine in a bid to deter China’s relentless aggression in the South China Sea and potential invasion of Taiwan
READ: US gets access to more PH bases
“In principle, this is an administration prerogative I support. But I ask that whatever agreements be made public and the pros and cons be told,” Recto said in a statement.
He called on the Marcos administration to brief Congress and the public about the location of the four additional Edca sites.
“National security is not harmed by that candor. But any secrecy will deal with transparency, an avowed hallmark of this administration, a serious blow,” the lawmaker noted.
Recto then asked how the Philippines will benefit from the swelling Edca sites in the country.
“Panalo ba ang bayan diyan? At ano naman kaya ang maaaring perwisyo, kung meron man? [Will the nation win with that move? And what are the possible nuisances that it may cause, if any]?” he said.
Recto further asked: “Ilang military bases pa ba ang sasaklawin sa darating na panahon [How many more military bases will they have access to as time passes]? Are we being built up as their armed garrison in the Pacific as a tripwire to Chinese expansionism?”
He also urged the country’s defense officials to thoroughly review the agreement’s “ramifications, specifically the potential reaction from other states and our planned responses.”
House lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc had similarly raised alarm about the additional Edca sites in the country which, they said, would only push the Philippines into the middle of brewing tensions between the US and China.
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