Aug 112013
Malacañang on Sunday reassured the public the talks between the Philippines and the United States on an agreement that will allow “increased rotational presence” of US military in the country will not violate Philippine laws.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the negotiations, which are reportedly set to start on Monday, will be under the framework of the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement.

“My understanding is that everything will be under the framework of the VFA. So ang modalities na lang on how to implement the rotational presence ang kanilang pag-uusapan,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

But she also appealed to the public not to make further speculations, and wait for the proper announcements.

“(L)et’s wait for more information as they figure out the modalities on how to implement it,” she said.

The talks come amid tension over territorial disputes between the Philippines and China over parts of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

An earlier report said the Departments of National Defense and Foreign Affairs sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives to inform them of the upcoming negotiations on the terms of the increased US military presence.

In their letter, they said the Philippines “will shortly enter into consultations and negotiations with the United States on a possible framework agreement that would implement our agreed policy of increased rotational presence.”

They also said that “(i)n both diplomacy and national defense, our strategic relationship with the United States remains crucial.” — LBG, GMA News

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