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Research group condemns revival of US bases in Philippines

Research group condemns revival of US bases in Philippines
Asia Pacific Research Network says return of bases to Philippines aggravates rights abuses, militarism, likelihood of war

ANKARA (AA) - A research group expressed concerns Saturday and condemned the revival of US bases in the Philippines.

The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) think tank said in a statement that the return of US bases to the Philippines would aggravate rights abuses, militarism and the likelihood of war.

"The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) raises deep concerns over US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s state visit to the Philippines as four more sites for US bases were announced. The people are demanding peace, but the re-establishment of US bases will do more harm than good,” it said.

"US military bases had been ejected in 1991 after the Philippine Senate junked the 1947 RP-US Military Bases Agreement. However, the late president Benigno Aquino restored the US bases in the country through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in 2014," it added.

The Philippines agreed Thursday to allow US military access to four more bases with the US Defense Department saying the new locations “will allow more rapid support for humanitarian and climate-related disasters in the Philippines, and respond to other shared challenges.”

The announcement came during a visit by Austin to the archipelago nation, Washington's oldest military ally in Asia.

The expansion of military bases was agreed upon under the EDCA, a military deal between Manila and Washington signed during former Filipino President Corazon Aquino’s government. It allows for the increased rotational presence of US troops, planes and ships on Philippine military bases, as well as the construction of facilities to store fuel and equipment.

Washington received access to five Filipino military bases in 2016.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

source: News Feed
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