Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano May 5 falsely claimed the United States has military bases in the Philippines and Taiwan.
Speaking to reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Cayetano defended President Rodrigo Duterte from criticism following his remarks blaming the Aquino administration for supposedly failing to stop military installations in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“Di ba may bases ang Amerika sa Japan, Korea, Pilipinas, Taiwan. So paano ma-a-assure ang mainland China na hindi directed against them ‘yung mga bases at saka ‘yung mga military equipment dito (The U.S. has bases in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan. How does that assure mainland China that these bases and military equipment are not directed against them)?”
The U.S. closed down its military base in Subic following the September 1991 rejection of the Philippine Senate of a proposed treaty allowing American forces to use the naval base.
It had also earlier closed its military base in Clark following the devastation caused by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), signed April 2014 by the Philippine and U.S. governments, includes a portion:
“affirming that the parties share an understanding for the United States not to establish a permanent military presence or base in the territory of the Philippines.”
Source: Official Gazette, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the Philippines and the United States, page 1
The Supreme Court, which declared EDCA constitutional in 2016, noted:
“EDCA does not grant permanent bases, but rather temporary rotational access to facilities for efficiency.”
Source: Supreme Court, Saguisag v Executive Secretary, page 69
EDCA allows rotational U.S. military presence at five Philippine military bases:
- Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan
- Basa Air Base in Pampanga
- Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija
- Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro
- Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu
News reports describe the 1991 rejection by the Philippine Senate of a new treaty for the Subic Bay Naval Station the “end” of the U.S. military presence in the country.
A Sept. 16, 1991 New York Times report, “Philippine Senate votes to reject U.S. base renewal,” reads:
“The Philippine Senate voted today to reject a new treaty for the Subic Bay Naval Station and to end an American military presence in the country that has lasted nearly a century.”
Source: New York Times, Philippine Senate votes to reject U.S. base renewal
And a Sept. 10, 1991 Washington Post, “U.S. base rejected in the Philippines,” reads:
“The Bush administration said yesterday it is prepared to abandon the big U.S. naval base in the Philippines rather than offer new concessions to reverse a preliminary vote in the Philippine Senate to shut it down.
Washington officials said the end may be near for the nearly century-long U.S. military presence in the strategic islands, and a crisis at hand for U.S.-Philippine relations.”
Source: Washington Post, U.S. base rejected in the Philippines
Also contrary to Cayetano’s claim, the U.S. withdrew its military presence from Taiwan in 1979 after it forged diplomatic relations with China. The U.S. and Republic of China Mutual Defense Treaty ended the same year.
Neither Taiwan nor the Philippines is among the countries included in a map by online statistics portal Statista of U.S. overseas military bases in 2015.
Alan Peter Cayetano Facebook page, live video at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, May 5, 2018
Supreme Court, Saguisag v Executive Secretary
New York Times, Philippine Senate votes to reject U.S. base renewal
Washington Post, U.S. base rejected in the Philippines
Defense Technical Information Center, Taiwan’s Political Status: Historical Background and Ongoing Implications
2018-05-08 05:05:51 UTC