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Claim: The United States military is going to revive its former naval base in Subic under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
Why we fact-checked this: The title of the video itself makes the false claim. It also says the action was intended by the US to defend the Philippines from Chinese invasion. As of writing, the YouTube video has over 21,668 views and 490 likes.
Not an EDCA site: A press release from the United States Department of Defense and a fact sheet about EDCA released by the US embassy in the Philippines show that Subic was not chosen as an EDCA site.
According to both the US defense department and US embassy, as of April 3, 2023, the following are the locations of approved EDCA sites:
- Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan
- Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela
- Balabac Island in Palawan
- Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan
- Cesar Basa Air Base in Pampanga
- Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation in Nueva Ecija
- Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro
- Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan
- Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu
Almost chosen: Department of National Defense officer-in-charge Carlito Galvez Jr. said they had proposed Subic Bay as a fifth EDCA site but this was not approved by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., news articles from Philstar and Manila Bulletin said.
Philippines owns EDCA sites: The revival of former US bases like the former Subic Naval Base are also not possible under EDCA. Article V of the agreement states that the Philippines will “retain ownership and title” to locations that will be used as EDCA sites. The sites will be returned to the Philippines once they are “no longer required” by the US for activities under EDCA.
Not for offensive action: Marcos also said that the agreement to grant US military access to more military bases in the country was not intended for “offensive action” against any country.
He also added that Washington had never brought up the possibility that bases under EDCA would be used as “staging areas” for offensive action against any country.
Rappler has previously fact-checked claims about Philippine-US military relations:
- FACT CHECK: Pag-Asa Island won’t be used as PH-US military base
- FACT CHECK: US hasn’t sent warships to the Philippines
- FACT CHECK: PH didn’t buy 24 A-10 fighter jets from the US
– Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com
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