Music Room, Malacañan Palace
30 August 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a courtesy call in Malacañan Palace where the current situation in the West Philippine Sea was discussed as well as the status of the negotiations in permitting the US forces to have rotational presence in the country as part of its rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
In a joint press conference by Secretary Hagel and Philippine National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the American official said that he and President Aquino “reaffirmed the progress being made in the ongoing discussions for our framework agreement. This agreement will strengthen cooperation between our two militaries and help them work together more effectively.” He also said that US does not seek permanent bases in the country.
Meanwhile, Secretary Gazmin confirmed that Subic Bay will be one of the facilities that will be used by the American military based on the arrangement.
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