6th round of EDC talks to be held in Washington – DND

March 5, 2014 10:53 am 

By Priam F. Nepomuceno

MANILA, March 4 (PNA) — The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday announced that the Philippine and United States panels will hold the 6th round of negotiations on the proposed Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (EDC) on March 4 to 5 (US time) in Washington, D.C.

“We look forward to building on the substantive progress we have had during the previous round in this forthcoming sixth round,” DND Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo F. Batino, chairman of the Philippine negotiating panel, said.

“The Philippine negotiating panel will continue to articulate and promote our national values and interests and will remain guided by the principles of full respect for Philippine sovereignty, non-permanence of US troops and no US basing in the Philippines, mutuality of benefits and respect for the Philippine Constitution, including the prohibition against nuclear weapons," he added.

During the fifth round of negotiations in January, both the Philippines and the United States negotiating panels reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing their cooperation in the security and related fields, particularly in humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

While acknowledging that the proposed agreement must be guided by the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement and other international legal instruments and consistent with their respective Constitutions and laws.

The sixth round is being held back-to-back with the Philippine-US Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) on March 6 to 7, which will also take place in Washington D.C.

The other members of the Philippine panel on the EDC negotiations are Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparaguirre, Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya, Undersecretary of Justice Francisco F. Baraan III and Assistant Secretary Raymund Jose G. Quilop. (PNA)



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