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    Posted March 17, 2014 by

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    Phl official: Let China interpret the message

    AN official on Monday said the Philippine government does not need to send a message to China as it continues to settle on a defense treaty with the United States on increased presence of American troops in the country.
    “Well, let China interpret that particular… We don’t need to send a message I suppose. The medium is the message,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
    Earlier reports said Philippine defense officials have considered increasing the rotational presence of US troops in the country to achieve a minimum credible defense.
    It can be recalled that the Philippines has threatened China with diplomatic a protest due to its aggressive posturing in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
    Lacierda said the rotational presence of US troops would certainly help the country as it’s on the way of improving the quality of the Philippines in terms of preparedness.”
    “The reason why it (Phl-US mutual defense treaty) helps is because there’s some technology transfer, there’s knowledge sharing between the American forces and the Philippine forces when they conduct military exercises,” he said.
    He also emphasized that a part of the rotational presence is focusing on disaster preparedness and disaster reduction.
    “That’s one of the big improvements especially when it comes to increased rotational presence where we saw the involvement of the American military when typhoon 'Yolanda' hit Central Philippines,” Lacierda said.
    The Philippines and the US continue to “thresh out the language” on the defense treaty that would allow greater US military presence in the country.
    The guidance of President Benigno Aquino III to the panel is to make sure that everything discussed conforms to the 1987 Constitution and is under the framework of the existing Visiting Forces Agreement.
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