Senators vouch PH-US EDCA will bring regional stability, cooperation

(MANILA BULLETIN) Senators on Friday, February 3 welcomed the expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States (US) saying they see it as a means to help promote regional stability and cooperation.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada noted that the US has always been the Philippine’s ally on matters concerning territorial disputes and the expansion of the EDCA will boost the country’s military defense capabilities in asserting regional territorial claims.

“While it is seen as directed at enhancing the PH-US security alliance, which is one of the longest military alliances in the world, I trust that whatever possible repercussions had been carefully studied by officials from the Executive,” Estrada also said.

“From what I gathered, the EDCA sites are primarily earmarked for humanitarian assistance and disaster response facilities, and it’s part of the modernization efforts of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines). Therefore, it’s not directed toward any country,” he said.

“These efforts of our government, I believe, are aligned with the President’s pronouncements in his first SONA where he said that he intends to chart an independent foreign policy with the national interest as a primordial guide – a country that is a friend to all and an enemy to none,” he also said.-Hannah Torregoza/ Manila Bulletin