MANILA—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) maintains that only equipment and materials intended for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions may be stockpiled in military facilities ear-marked for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US.
This was disclosed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in a press briefing Monday.
This was in wake of claims that American tanks and weapons are being stockpiled in the above-mentioned facilities.
Earlier, the Department of National Defense (DND) said the United States will start building some facilities that can house troops and their equipment in Basa Air Base, Floridablance, Pampanga; Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; and Lumbia Airfield in Cagayan De Oro, in relation to EDCA-related activities.
Construction is expected to be done within the year.
“(These claims) were checked by the AFP and it was found out that there was no confirmed incident of this nature and EDCA, like what was announced, is geared for the preparedness (of our forces) to respond to HADR situation faster,” Padilla said in Filipino.
“And if they are constructing warehouses or storage areas of equipment or items, these should be oriented for HADR (like generator sets, rubber boats, or shelter-type materials, and water purifiers),” he added.
The AFP spokesperson said construction of fuel depots are allowable in EDCA as this will allow aircraft to refuel and do repeated missions transporting relief goods and saving lives in times of calamities.