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4月24日のまにら新聞から

Adding EDCA sites ''possible'': AFP spokesperson

[ 317 words|2023.4.24|英字 (English) ]

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Sunday there is a possibility of adding more Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in the country.

“If the topic is about the expansion of EDCA sites, I think it’s possible because what we want to protect is our archipelagic country that has several islands and a long shoreline,” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar told dzBB.

“If we are to protect our sovereignty, including the protection of maritime resources that should be enjoyed by our people, we need a 360-degree protection capability for the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added.

Aguilar said it would require more funds as it would entail the strengthening of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Air Force.

Senator Imee Marcos, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, earlier this week said that the locations of the EDCA sites were “random” and “no longer purposeful” for the AFP’s modernization.

Aguilar emphasized that the selection of EDCA locations was strategic.

“The choosing of EDCA sites undergoes a process and it is based on the developments happening in our country. It is also based on the insufficiencies that need to be filled. The selection is done primarily based on recommendations from me because we are following a roadmap for the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.

“So what we are doing in these EDCA sites? The reason we are doing construction of facilities like runways and ports is so that it would be easy for us to move. The selection is strategic because we first look at the Eastern and Western seaboard,” he added.

The Marcos administration announced the location of four new EDCA sites which are Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta Ana, Cagayan; Lal-lo Airport in Lal-lo, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela and Balabac Island in Palawan, making a total number of nine sites. Jaspearl Tan/DMS