Some militant groups have begun to voice their sharp opposition on the announcement made by the Department of National Defense (DND) echoing an earlier press release issued by the U.S. Department of Defense way back during the first week of February 2023 that the Philippines and the United have agreed to put up an additional four new sites under the Enhanced Defense
Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) on top of the five already existing sites in the country. These new sites or so called “agreed locations” are the main aspects of the EDCA which is actually an agreement between the country and the U.S. that in essence would allow American soldiers, their
military equipment and facilities to be stationed within these agreed locations that are inside Philippine military bases.

That in a nutshell is what EDCA is all about. The country owns the military base but extends an accommodation for American soldiers during their tour of duties as well as authorizing the U.S. to build and operate facilities for the use of both American and Philippine forces. Now for those who are not yet fully aware of how the EDCA is being implemented there are already, as mentioned
above, five established agreed locations in the country where U.S. forces can and are stationed. This
established agreed locations are in Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. At present the said military airbase is being used as a jump off point for resupply missions for soldiers in the Municipality of Kalayaan and soldiers manning the lonely outpost of the deliberately grounded BRP Sierra Madre at the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands.

The second established agreed location under the EDCA is at the Cesar Basa Air Base in Pampanga,
also at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, The Lumbia Airport in Cagayan De Oro, and the Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu. Notwithstanding the opposition of some militant groups on the planned four locations under EDCA these new sites will be implemented and established definitely
sooner rather than later. This is so because at the moment there is an intense rivalry going on
between the U.S. and China and since at the moment we are still allies with the good old United States of America then it stands to reason that we will always be somehow involved in one way or another with the geopolitical situation in South East Asia.

Of course there is always a need to be very cautious in dealing with a superpower such as the U.S. but even assuming that we make a stand to be neutral in the event of a military confrontation between the U.S. and China would the latter even observed such neutrality when it can easily invade the Philippines and use it as another staging area to invade Taiwan? If you care to take a look at the map you will immediately realize that Taiwan is sandwiched between China and the northernmost tip of the Philippines. If China can reposition its forces on both sides of Taiwan then it would facilitate their invasion of the latter.

That is also the reason why the U.S. in invoking EDCA seeks to establish new agreed locations probably in the northern part of the country to bring their forces closer to Taiwan in the event China finally makes good its promise to take back Taiwan under its reunification plan. China will definitely be overjoyed If the national government will deny or prevent the establishment of these new agreed locations in the northern part of the country precisely because it will prevent the U.S.
from establishing a fixed land installation where it can monitor Taiwan more closely and if armed hostilities erupt will be able to send aid and support to another of its allies in South East Asia.

Amianan Balita Ngayon