Philippines announces locations of 4 bases to be used by US army

One site is near the hotly disputed South China Sea and another not far from Taiwan.

Philippine Marines take their position during a mock beach assault along with their US counterparts as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT 2014) along the beach at a Philippine naval training base facing the South China Sea in San Antonio, Zambales province, north of Manila on June 30, 2014. Naval forces from the US and Philippines engaged in an amphibious landing on June 30 on Luzon island amid a tense territorial row with China.

The office of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has named the four additional bases that United States forces will have access to under an existing defence agreement to expand military cooperation.

The Philippine government announced in February that it would allow rotating batches of US forces to indefinitely stay in the new camps, in addition to five local bases earlier designated under a 2014 Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The locations of the additional bases, however, were withheld until Monday while the government consulted with local officials.

The Presidential Communications Office said in a statement that the four sites will be in Isabela and Cagayan, on the island of Luzon, facing north towards Taiwan, and on Palawan, near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

The bases had been assessed by the Philippine military and deemed “suitable and mutually beneficial”, the statement said, noting that the camps would also be used for humanitarian and relief operations during disasters.



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