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Plan to expand U.S. military presence in Philippines assailed, defended

(Xinhua)

16:58, January 31, 2012

MANILA, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The plan to expand United States military presence in the Philippines as agreed during the Jan. 27 bilateral dialogue in Washington, D.C. has been assailed by the country's groups but defended by officials of the government of President Benigno Aquino, III.

Teodoro Casino, a party-list member of the House of Representatives representing Bayan Muna (Country First), said that there is no need for the expansion of U.S. military presence in the country. He even called for a congressional probe into the planned deal.

"We were able to get rid of the U.S. bases and we are still fighting against the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), we do not need the government to once again sell out our sovereignty," Casino said in a statement.

The VFA, signed in l999, allows the temporary stay in the country of American military forces but only during joint military exercises and other non-combatant operations.

Casino said that the review of the VFA, which the Aquino administration has agreed to, has not even started yet but "we are going to enter a new agreement that would further put us in a disadvantaged position."

According to Casino, the U.S. move to reassert its military presence in the Pacific Ocean is not merely intended to block China's so-called increasing dominance in the region but "to stave off the U.S. floundering economy."

Other groups also denounced the plan for increased military cooperation with the U.S..

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  1. Name

PD User at 2012-02-01120.166.18.*
As long as no one dared to stop all these mad things done by the U.S., then, do not expect this world would be a safe place to live, anywhere, including in the U.S. and in the land of Israel itself
PD User at 2012-02-0174.61.88.*
Unfortunately the US is still playing the last century's imperial neo-colonial games in an effort to try to control the world for its own benefit. As a US citizen, I am sick to death of US imperial actions. I hope our government finally realizes it is cheaper to buy raw materials at a fair price than it is to go to war.
Nic at 2012-02-01175.141.57.*
China saves your money, don't just give. Nobody will remember it when your interests and theirs clash. Allowing the Phillipinoes to work in HK and China is already kind enough. Use your hard earn money for improving your environment, water supplies and your standard of living. Others will have to work hard for themselves; only then they will appreciate what life really means!
wende at 2012-01-3171.255.83.*
US can't give Philippine any trade benefits as US manufacturing is "kaput". US main exports are weapons. Philippines cannot subsists on military hardware. Only China can help Philippines economy in a big way.
  

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