(UPDATE) PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday confirmed the designation of four more locations in the country that will serve as installations of the United States military in pursuant of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the US and the Philippines.
“There are some in the north, there are some around Palawan, there are some further south. It is really to defend our eastern coast, but there is also the element that is there because of our continental shelf which is on the eastern side of Luzon. So, that’s something that we have to look out for,” Marcos told reporters during a chance interview at the 126th founding anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army.
“We will make a formal announcement. But we will formalize it with our partners in the United States first so that we will not preempt,” he added.
The President defended his decision to allow a larger United States military presence in the country as vital to the territorial defense despite China’s fierce opposition and warning that it would “drag the Philippines into the abyss of geopolitical strife.”