“Since then, this freedom has been redeemed and independence is firmly entrenched. Today, an important milestone was reached with respect to the final part of the commitment with the signing of an agreement on U.S. rights to the use of a small number of military bases in the Philippines in Manila. Other provisions of the agreement consist of specific descriptions of the status that the U.S. armed forces are required to respect in matters of taxation, customs, immigration and civil liability. The Philippine government`s rights within the bases, for example with regard to mineral resources, are clearly defined. In all respects, with the exception of the jurisdiction over offences committed within the bases, the laws of the Philippine Republic in these areas will be preserved. No real aspect indicates or authorizes extraterritoriality. There is also a provision to voluntarily summon Filipino citizens into the U.S. armed forces and the possibility for the armed forces to have responsibility for those citizens after such summonses. The number of such registrations to be accepted must be limited by an agreement between the two governments. The agreement, in its current form, differs in many respects from the original draft. The entire U.S.
military program has been reviewed here. Some contracts have been terminated or amended and any kind of adaptation has been made to our needs. U.S. Pacific logistics companies, based for example on the use of Nichols Field, have been modified to deal with the new situation in which Nichols Field is handed over to the Philippine government. American Commanding General, headquartered in Fort McKinley, will be transferred to Fort Stotsenburg. Every effort is made to realize our desire that the U.S. military be removed from the territory of Manila and other population centers. I am pleased that this issue has been resolved satisfactorily.
Personally, I am against the situation of military units in the capital. I am taking steps to eliminate philippine army facilities from this immediate area. “This agreement is based on priority concern and the desire of both governments to take appropriate measures in terms of mutual protection, as both Congresses have expressly endorsed in joint resolutions. Although the President of the United States has been authorized by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, on the provisions of which I will refer in detail, to negotiate and establish these bases without further consultation with Congress, the Philippine President`s authority is less clear. I have therefore decided to keep in mind that the approval of the Philippine Senate is necessary for the provisions of this agreement to be applied by the Philippine government as if it were a treaty. I submit to the Senate for its approval of an agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America on military bases. This agreement was signed on March 14 in Manila by me on behalf of the Philippine government and by Ambassador Paul V. McNutt on behalf of the President of the United States. It is important that both sides have “a common understanding for the United States not to establish a permanent military presence or base on Philippine territory.” The preamble concludes: “All U.S.
states will have access to and use facilities and territories at the invitation of the Philippines and in full compliance with the Philippine Constitution and laws.  Through this agreement, we have guaranteed our national defence. We have formalized our military relations with the United States for 99 years. We have defined the community of interest that will bind our two peoples for almost a century.
Comments are closed.