Zubiri favors Edca sites: ‘We have bullies within our borders’
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Wednesday that he favors Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites in the Philippines as it has “bullies within its borders.”
Edca is an agreement between the Philippines and the United States that aims to bolster the defense capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Siguro kung wala tayong problema sa West Philippine Sea at walang nambu-bully sa atin, we can probably disregard having Edca sites,” Zubiri told reporters in an interview at the Senate.
(Maybe if we do not have a problem in the West Philippine Sea and no one is bullying us, we can probably disregard having Edca sites.)
“Pabor po ako sa Edca dahil itong Edca sites ay magbibigay po ng tulong. Makakatulong po ito sa ating defense forces sa pagprotekta sa ating teritoryo. So, I have no problems with it… Unfortunately, today, we have bullies within our borders,” he added.
(I am in favor of Edca because Edca sites can help us. It can help our defense forces in protecting our territory. So, I have no problems with it… Unfortunately, today, we have bullies within our borders.)
Zubiri noted that the “big bully” harasses the country’s fishers, Coast Guard, and even the military.
In several incidents, China has harassed Filipinos, the recent one happened in Ayungin Shoal and resulted in the temporary blindness of Philippine Coast Guard crew members.
Under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration, the Philippines filed 77 diplomatic protests against China’s intrusion in the West Philippine Sea.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the Philippines has sovereign claims in the West Philippine Sea, invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim in most of the South China Sea.