Enhanced Defense Cooperation - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Enhanced Defense Cooperation


Choose U.S. or China? Carpio offers 3rd way

Feb 28, 2020 - 4:06 PM

Terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement will make the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement useless, says retired justice Antonio Carpio

Terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement will make the MDT hollow and EDCA useless, says former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio  Photo by Carmela Fonbuena

EXPLAINER: Visiting Forces Agreement

Jan 31, 2020 - 9:00 AM

President Duterte has threatened to scrap the military pact between the Philippines and the United States. Here's what you should know about it.

Senate panel to review VFA, other Philippine defense pacts

Jan 29, 2020 - 4:44 PM

'Number 1, ano ang benefits na nakuha ng Pilipinas dito? What is the national interest at stake in these agreements?' says Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on some questions to be taken up at the planned hearing

PH-US WAR GAMES. This file photo shows US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts joining forces in an Amphibious Landing operation as part of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Malacañang downplays possibility of U.S. terminating other military pacts

Jan 27, 2020 - 6:39 PM

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo says the Duterte government is not concerned the United States may terminate other military treaties following the Philippines' move to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement

PH-US WAR GAMES. This file photo shows US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts joining forces in an Amphibious Landing operation as part of the 2015 Balikatan Exercises made possible by the VFA. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

DOJ: Effects of VFA termination on EDCA, Mutual Defense Treaty have to be studied

Jan 25, 2020 - 2:24 PM

The justice department is ready with its memorandum on the legal procedures to terminate the 20-year-old VFA

Philippine and American soldier unite as they conducts the amphibious exercise during the 2019 Balikatan exercise held at Naval Education Training Command (NETC) in Zambales on 11 April 2019. Photo by: Lito Boras/Rappler

Cayetano says PH can't file protest vs China bombers

Jun 02, 2018 - 8:06 AM

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says it is 'ridiculous' to protest about an action beyond Philippine shores. 'Paano tayo magpo-protest sa hindi natin territory?'

NO PROTEST. Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says the Philippines cannot file a protest against China's bombers in the South China Sea. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

DFA won't publicly condemn China over bombers

May 21, 2018 - 9:00 AM

Instead of publicizing a diplomatic protest, the Philippines says it is 'closely monitoring developments in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea'

DIPLOMATIC PROTEST? Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says it is no longer the Philippines' strategy to file diplomatic protests against China at every opportunity it has. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

DFA silent on Chinese bombers in South China Sea

May 20, 2018 - 2:01 PM

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon condemns 'this creeping invasion' while Senator Risa Hontiveros tells government 'to end their subservience to China'

SILENCE. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, under Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, has not issued a statement on China's bombers in the South China Sea as of May 20, 2018. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Chinese bombers land on South China Sea island

May 19, 2018 - 11:28 AM

'Nearly all of the Philippines falls within the radius of the bombers, including Manila and all 5 Philippine military bases earmarked for development under the US-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,' says the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies

CHINESE BOMBER. A video posted by the state-owned People's Daily of China shows a Chinese bomber in takeoff and landing training on an island reef in the South China Sea. Screengrab from People's Daily

Scarborough, Benham Rise general leads US-PH Balikatan 2018

Apr 30, 2018 - 9:23 AM

It's the second Balikatan under President Rodrigo Duterte, who at the start of his term threatened to end the military exercises. Ties between the Philippines and US have since improved.

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, April 18, 2018

Apr 18, 2018 - 10:01 AM

Hello! Here's a roundup of news you need to know this Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes to Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa prior to his series of engagements at the Malacañan Palace on April 17, 2018. Also in the photo is Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Construction for PH-US EDCA military deal begins

Apr 17, 2018 - 7:30 AM

(UPDATED) A groundbreaking ceremony is held at the Basa Air Base on Tuesday, April 17, attended by Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and US Ambassador Sung Kim.

GROUNDBRREAKING: A multi-purpose warehouse will be built inside Basa Air Base in Pampanga, the first major project under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Duterte reaffirms EDCA, U.S. ties in meeting with Trump

Nov 14, 2017 - 6:22 PM

EDCA is an agreement which allows the US military to construct facilities and pre-position defense assets inside Philippine military bases

PH-US TIES. EDCA was forged in 2014 by the predecessors of US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Rappler file photo

PH military asks Congress for P124M EDCA 'counterpart fund'

Aug 14, 2017 - 9:07 PM

Armed Forces chief Gen Eduardo Año asks Congress for P124 million the Philippines has to cough up for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement

BUDGET HEARING. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief General Eduardo Año defend their budgets before the House of Representatives on August 14, 2017

SC nominee Mosquera disagrees with ruling on EDCA

Jul 04, 2017 - 3:45 PM

Gerard Mosquera tells the Judicial and Bar Council that he would ve dissented with the 2016 EDCA ruling For him a treaty would have to be executed to justify stationing of foreign troops in the country

CANDIDATE. Gerard Mosquera answers questions from the Judicial and Bar Council. Screenshot from SC livestream

Duterte assures Trump of friendship, cooperation

Mar 20, 2017 - 12:30 AM

But President Rodrigo Duterte is less warm as he talks about the military alliance between the Philippines and the United States

GOOD RELATIONS. President Rodrigo Duterte said he is assuring US President Donald Trump friendship and cooperation. Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo

Duterte gov't rejects U.S. plans to construct in Palawan air base

Mar 06, 2017 - 3:15 PM

EXCLUSIVE: Construction will proceed in two other military bases – Basa Air Base in Pampanga and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro – to implement the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement

IT'S A GO. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says EDCA will be implemented in 2017. File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Miss Universe, war on drugs, Duterte on EDCA | Midday wRap

Jan 30, 2017 - 1:56 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Zak Yuson

Duterte tells U.S. to stop planned construction in PH bases

Jan 30, 2017 - 1:25 AM

UPDATED Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana says it doesn t mean President Rodrigo Duterte wants to cancel EDCA altogether He only wants to review the structures that the US plans to build

TREATY ALLIES. The US and Philippine militaries conduct annual military exercises. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

EDCA: US set to build facilities in 3 PH military bases

Jan 26, 2017 - 6:17 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte who had threatened to scrap the deal is okay with the plans according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

TREATY ALLIES. The Philippines and the US are bound to come to each other's aid under the Mutual Defense Treaty. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Makabayan bloc to Duterte: End EDCA, military drills with US

Nov 10, 2016 - 7:16 PM

Ang hamon sa kanya is really walk the talk says Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago on President Rodrigo Duterte s pursuit of an independent foreign policy

WAR GAMES. US soldiers and their Filipino counterparts join force in an Amphibous Landing operation as part of the annual Balikatan Exercises at the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) of the Philippine Navy in San Antonio, Zambales province on April 21. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Rodrigo Duterte, United States, Twitter | 6PM wRap

Oct 25, 2016 - 9:31 PM

Watch the evening edition of Rappler s newscast with Maria Ressa

Duterte wants to scrap EDCA

Oct 25, 2016 - 1:42 PM

We have the EDCA Well forget it the President says in a speech before departing for Japan

'INDEPENDENCE.' President Rodrigo Duterte spares time to accommodate queries from members of Japanese media in Malacñang on October 24. KING RODRIGUEZ/ Presidential Photo

US says EDCA is binding, reminds PH of aid after Yolanda

Oct 05, 2016 - 9:01 AM

US Press Secretary Josh Earnest says the American government is confident that Filipinos recognize the benefits of close ties with the US

FACT CHECK: Was EDCA not signed by Aquino?

Oct 04, 2016 - 11:50 AM

President Duterte said in Bacolod that EDCA was only signed by an aide and [former defense chief Voltaire] Gazmin Did the President get his facts right?

Duterte on EDCA, Dick Gordon, LeBron James | 6PM wRap

Oct 03, 2016 - 9:03 PM

Watch today s 6PM wRap

Duterte puts EDCA under review, threatens to cut US ties

Oct 03, 2016 - 12:11 PM

Duterte cites 2 groups in Mindanao that will not talk peace with him if the Americans stayed in Mindanao

EDCA SIGNING. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg after the 2004 signing of the agreement. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Senator wants inquiry into Duterte's 'conflicting' foreign policy

Sep 26, 2016 - 1:30 PM

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV says the government should clarify its position on foreign affairs given its conflicting statements

File photo

Duterte on Mary Jane, Liberal Party, Instagram | 6PM wRap

Sep 13, 2016 - 8:21 PM

Watch the 6PM wRap with Chay Hofileña

Yasay: No shift in Philippine policy on US

Sep 13, 2016 - 1:42 PM

Malacañang says the President s latest statements are intended to communicate that we need to be ready to chart our own course and find our own alliances

Philippine Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay delivers a brief statement at the DFA head office in Pasay City, July 12, 2016. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

SC upholds PH-US military deal

Jul 26, 2016 - 4:46 PM

The SC affirms its January ruling upholding the constitutionality of EDCA saying petitioners failed to raise new arguments in their motions for reconsideration

UPHELD. The Supreme Court affirms the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the US, signed in April 2014. File photo

PH to China: No US militarization of West PH Sea

Apr 16, 2016 - 7:07 PM

Malacañang also says that the highly uncontroversial PH US joint military exercises are meant to ensure that prosperity is continuous under a regime of stability through the participation of all countries

Flag bearers from the Philippine and the US await the entrance of colors during the opening ceremonies for the annual RP-US Balikatan at the AFP-COC inside Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on April 4, 2016. Ben Nabong/Rappler

Bello hits Aquino admin over EDCA ‘deception’

Apr 15, 2016 - 4:08 PM

In Rappler’s ‘The Leader I Want’ debate senatorial candidate Walden Bello says EDCA merely makes the Philippines a ‘military base’ of the US

US defense chief visits warship in South China Sea

Apr 15, 2016 - 10:36 AM

6th UPDATE American Rear Admiral Ron Boxall says one or two Chinese vessels followed the warship but there were no tensions

COURTESY CALL. President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomes US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during the courtesy call at the President'€™s Hall Malacañang Palace, April 14, 2016. File photo by Joseph Vidal/Malacañang Photo Bureau

US forces to gain access to more PH bases – Carter

Apr 13, 2016 - 9:35 PM

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter who is now in Manila says more military bases will be added to the initial 5 agreed upon

PH, US hold war games as China flexes muscles

Apr 02, 2016 - 12:54 PM

The 11 day Balikatan exercises are expected to show how the Philippines though severely outgunned can counter China with the help of the United States its longest standing ally

Photo by Randy Datu/Rappler

US military equipment arrive in Subic for Balikatan 2016

Mar 29, 2016 - 8:08 AM

The shipment includes Humvee vehicles trucks jeeps backhoes and bulldozers

LINING UP. US military vehicles are pictured in Subic in preparation for the Balikatan 2016 military exercises, March 28, 2016. Photo by Randy Datu / Rappler

PH, US agree on EDCA implementation in Palawan, 4 other places

Mar 20, 2016 - 1:11 AM

The Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan has been the site of maritime exercises with the militaries of the US Japan and Australia

In this file photo, military troops from the Philippines and United States hold up their respective national flags during opening rites of the Philippines-US Balikatan Exercise in Quezon City on April 20, 2015. Ritchie Tongo/EPA

In CDO debate, Poe, Santiago reject EDCA and US intervention

Feb 21, 2016 - 7:44 PM

Poe says the Philippines can have a military as strong as Singapore s a country that can afford expensive military hardware

Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

US to build facilities in old CDO airport in 2016

Feb 05, 2016 - 4:58 PM

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin says once the required documents are processed in the coming months US troops can move in to begin construction of their facilities

JOINT FORCES. Military troops from the Philippines and the US during the opening of the Philippines-US Exercise Balikatan in Quezon City in April 2015. File photo by EPA

Duterte open to joint exploration with China in West PH Sea

Feb 05, 2016 - 1:00 PM

If the arbitration case on the maritime dispute drags on for too long Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says he is willing to discuss sharing natural resources with China

TALKING FOREIGN POLICY. Rodrigo Duterte takes questions about his take on international affairs during a Go Negosyo elections forum on February 4, 2016. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

US open to joint patrols with PH in disputed sea – envoy

Feb 03, 2016 - 1:40 PM

US Ambassador Philip Goldberg declines to give a categorical response to the Philippine proposal but says I don’t think there are limitations to what the US can do

ARTIFICIAL CHINESE ISLAND. China's artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, such as the one in Mabini (Johnson) Reef, has prompted calls for more checks on the country's activities in the area

Battle over Cagayan de Oro airport: US base or new city center?

Jan 26, 2016 - 10:30 AM

If EDCA enters the picture and the airport is used by the US military city officials say they would have to adjust accordingly But first they will try to convince the national government to favor their plan

WE WANT AN AIRPORT TOO. Engineer Isidro Borja (left), Cagayan de Oro's top planning and development officer; and Eileen San Juan, the city's chief for Local Economics, Investment Promotion, discuss the planned Cagayan de Oro city expansion which may be affected if the national government will use the Lumbia Airport for the Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement as forward base for the US military. Photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler.

Dissenters on EDCA: It exceeds scope of defense treaties

Jan 17, 2016 - 9:30 AM

Because the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US offers more than what the VFA or even the Mutual Defense Treaty provides it requires Senate ratification

How did SC justices decide key cases in 2014-2016?

Jan 16, 2016 - 3:29 PM

We look back at landmark decisions by this batch of SC justices – between the latest appointment of Jardeleza in August 2014 and Villarama’s early retirement in January 2016

FULL TEXT: Supreme Court's decision on EDCA

Jan 15, 2016 - 11:42 PM

UPDATED Read the 118 page decision on the PH US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement

JOINT FORCES. Military troops from the Philippines and the US during the opening of the Philippines-US Exercise Balikatan in Quezon City in April 2015. File photo by EPA

PH vows ‘prompt, mutually beneficial’ implementation of EDCA

Jan 13, 2016 - 11:08 AM

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says the Supreme Court ruling on EDCA opens up new opportunities to further deepen our enduring alliance with the US

PH-US 2+2. (L-R) Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Philippine Secretary of Defense Voltaire  Gazmin and US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter pose for a photo opportunity before the second Philippines-US Two-plus-Two Ministerial Dialogue on January 12, 2016, at the US Department of State in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC

What 2016 bets from the Senate think of SC's EDCA decision

Jan 12, 2016 - 8:13 PM

The senators some of whom earlier signed a resolution that the PH US military agreement needs Senate approval now say they respect the High Court s ruling

File photo by Rappler

Sad day for PH sovereignty, environment – Activists

Jan 12, 2016 - 6:44 PM

But other netizens welcome the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement EDCA ruling saying it would protect the country from external threats like China

JUNK EDCA. Groups oppose the EDCA ruling saying it poses a threat to national sovereignty. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

SC rules: PH-US military deal constitutional

Jan 12, 2016 - 2:06 PM

UPDATED The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement doesn t need the concurrence of the Senate according to the Supreme Court

Military troops from the United States and Philippines salute during opening rites of the Philippines-US Exercise Balikatan in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 20 April 2015. The Philippines and the United States on 20 April 2015 began one of their largest joint military training exercises in years amid increasing tensions with China over its reclamation activities in the disputed South China Sea. A total of 6,656 American soldiers, 76 aircraft and three ships from the US are participating in the Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises aimed at boosting operational coordination with their Filipino counterparts. Photo by RITCHIE B. TONGO/EPA