Cagayan gov now OK with Edca site, other local gov’t execs ‘very amenable’ — Galvez
PAMPANGA, Philippines — Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba will now conform with the national government’s decision to build an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) site in his province, Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said here on Monday.
Mamba earlier expressed worries about installing the Edca facility in his province, stressing that the United States should not use the country, which he said is only after its interests in Taiwan.
“We have already talked to Governor Mamba … and he said that for as long as the national government has decided, he will abide with the decision of the President, and I told him that we have already decided, so he will conform with the decision,” Galvez said in a press conference in Basa Air Base in Floridablanca town.
Mamba, in response, said the decision on Edca lies with the President, but he maintained his opposition to the agreement.
“It is the President’s call but I maintain my stand against any foreign forces stationed in my province. Still against Edca sites in my province,” Mamba told INQUIRER.net in a text message on Monday.
Galvez also said that “almost all of the mayors” in Cagayan supported Edca, saying he was happy that the local chief executives “respect the President.”
“Almost all of the mayors signify their intentions to support Edca. In fact, all of the mayors of Cagayan, I can show you the resolution of the different mayors that they love to have Edca sites in their area,” he said.
“We are so happy that the local leaders are very amenable and they respect so much the President, considering that the President enjoys much popular support,” he continued.
The coastal province of Cagayan in the northern Philippines is about 600 kilometers away from Taiwan.
Aside from Cagayan, military officials have also named Zambales, Isabela, and Palawan as possible sites.
The Edca was signed by two countries in 2014 to address Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea and respond to natural disasters.
Edca is part of the country’s Mutual Defense Treaty’s (MDT) commitments, according to Galvez.
Signed by two parties on August 30, 1951, the MDT states that both countries would support each other if an external party attacked the Philippines or the United States.