MANILA, Philippines – The US on Tuesday, January 12, welcomed the Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of its military deal with the Philippines, saying this will further strenghten the ties between the two countries.
"EDCA is a mutually beneficial agreement that will enhance our ability to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and help build capacity for the Armed Forces of the Philippines," the US embassy in Manila said in a statement.
"We look forward to working closely with our Philippine partners on the implementation of this agreement," it added.
EDCA allows the US military to increase its rotational presence in the Philippines and to construct facilities inside Philippine military bases. It was signed in April 2014 but it was brought to the Supreme Court a month later for allegedly being a "de facto basing" and thus unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court never issued a temporary restraining order on EDCA but the Philippine and US militaries decided to withhold its implementation until the issue was decided. It took the the court 20 months to decide the case.
The locations where the US military will build facilities have not been revealed. It will be decided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff and the commander of the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command. – with reports from Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com