EDCA and AFP “modernization”
The US and the Marcos regime has boasted that the planned US construction of military bases in different parts of the country form part of the AFP’s “modernization” program.
In the just concluded 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the US and Philippines defense and foreign officials last April 11, the US bragged that up to ₱10 billion funds will be poured into the Philippines for the construction of at least nine military bases.
From this, $100 million (₱5 billion) will be allocated to “accelerate” the repair of such locations in accordance with US requirements and needs. The additional ₱5 billion will be in the form of US-made multirole fighter aircraft and Chinook helicopters.
At the meeting, the US brazenly subjugated the AFP modernization program by announcing its Security Sector Assistance Roadmap. This “roadmap” dictates what weapons and military equipment will be dumped in the Philippines for the next five to 10 years.
The roadmap conforms to the US plan to set out a weapons network in the so-called “First Island Chain” to encircle China and contain its influence in the region. Part of this plan is the construction of facilities for rockets, missiles and artilery systems to be used in the event of China’s “invasion” of Taiwan.
This offensive measure exposes US doublespeak in pretending to uphold the One China Principle in which Taiwan is recognized as part of China, while at the same time stoking Taiwan’s “independence”. In effect, the US is drawing the Philippines towards the issue of sovereignty between Taiwan and China, contrary to the policy of non-interference of the Philippines and Southeast Asian countries.
Meanwhile, Cagayan residents and local officials strongly oppose the opening of two “EDCA locations” in the province. On April 17, up to 5,000 residents took part in a “prayer rally for peace” in Rizal Park in Tuguegarao City led by the Prayer for Peace Cagayan Movement.