Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg recently signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) at Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo hours before the arrival of US President Barack Obama.
The landmark deal allows expanded US military presence on Filipino territory to promote peace and security in the region and brings the bilateral security relations between the two countries to a new and higher level.
Goldberg said the signing of the agreement was the result of eight rounds of negotiations in as many months and concluded just hours before Obama and Philippine President Aquino meet to mark a new stage in US-Philippine. He went on to say that the agreement will not pave the way to permanent US military presence and the reopening their military bases in the country.
The US envoy stressed that the US-Philippines alliance is the oldest of five treaty alliances in Asia, while the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty which was signed in 1951, contributed to the security and stability of the region for the last six decades.