The United States has no intention of establishing permanent military bases in the country under the proposed pact with the Armed Forces, according to new US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.
Goldberg said he hopes the framework agreement on increased rotational presence of US troops in the Philippines would be finalized soon in a bid to help upgrade the defense capability of its strategic ally.
“Let me say clearly though, we’re not talking about bases or any kind of new bases for the United States. This is about our capacity to help the Philippine government and military as it advances in many areas in its own interests,” Goldberg said in a press conference in Malacanang.
“So, as I said, I hope it’s as soon as possible,” the US envoy said when asked how soon the military pact can be forged by the two countries.
Goldberg, who presented his credentials in a courtesy call to President Aquino in Malacañang, admitted that the proposed RP-US military agreement is still being threshed out, citing some “difficult issues.”
“I don’t know exactly when we have an agreement, still to negotiate, and to work out some of the details,” he said.
Goldberg acknowledged that the greater presence of US troops in the Philippines would help “build minimal defense capability and maritime defense awareness” as well as enhance local capability in humanitarian assistance and disaster response. (Genalyn Kabiling)