Edca undermines PH independence—Bayan
Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines—Militant groups marched to the US Embassy Thursday to protest the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) saying it “grossly undermines” Philippine independence.
“This agreement does not have any fixed term, it is for eternity unless one party decides to terminate it,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said in an interview.
“There is no provision for review, it is automatically renewed and is, in effect, forever. Edca grossly undermines whatever little independence we have,” he said.
The Edca, which was signed by the Philippines and US last April, paves the way for US troops to be stationed in the country on a rotational basis for an initial term of 10 years but automatically renewed after that.
The troops will be allowed in “agreed locations” throughout the country as long as these are within Philippine military facilities.
Bayan led several petitioners in filing a case before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Edca.
“The US pivot to Asia, of which the Edca plays a major role, aims to protect and promote US imperialist designs in the region, including the further opening up of developing markets and exploitation of rich natural resources,” Bayan said in its statement.
Edca is regarded as a deterrent to the growing assertiveness of China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) where the Philippines is locked in a maritime dispute with China.
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