MANILA -- Malacanang assured the public that national interest will be paramount when President Benigno Aquino III reviews the new security accord with the United States.
In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino’s guiding principles are the Constitution and the country’s national interest.
This, even if Malacanang does not intend to submit the new defense deal before the Senate for its concurrence.
“We have stated previously the Philippine panel’s position that it is not a new treaty and does not require Senate action,” he said.
The Philippines and the US reached an agreement last Friday on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation, which will allow American soldiers to share bases with the Philippine’s military.
The new deal is also expected to raise the much protected protection versus China, which has been aggressively pushing for ownership in the West Philippine Sea.
The accord is expected to be signed when US President Barack Obama visits on April 28 to 29.
Coloma insisted they are not trying to beat any deadline in behalf of Obama.
“Wala naman po tayong sinusunod na deadline. Wala po tayong itinatakdang pag-aanunsyo diyan,” he said. He said the national interest should not be thrown away in favor of beating a deadline.
Still, Malacanang looks forward to Obama’s visit.
“Maraming dekada (na ang) pakikipagkaibigan (ng) mga Pilipino at Amerikano kaya’t umaasa po tayo na ang darating na pagdalaw ni Pangulong Barack Obama ay higit pang magpapatibay at magpapalakas sa pagkakaibigan at pakikipag-ugnayan ng dalawang bansa sa isa’t isa,” he said.