Malacañang on Tuesday said the government will verify a report that the US government rejected the supposed $300 million military aid requested by the Aquino administration.
The New York Times report published over the weekend said the Aquino government had private talks with the US to press for the military aid.
According to the report, the Obama administration “worries about corruption and the Philippines’ capacity to handle such an influx of resources.”
“Wala tayong tuwirang information tungkol diyan at kailangan muna nating alamin kung ano ang isinasaad ng ulat na ‘yan at berepikahin kung merong batayan (We have no direct information on that and we need to find out if that report is true),” Coloma told reporters.
He also refuted the same New York Times report for claiming that the Philippines may invite the US to reopen a naval base in Subic, Zambales amid China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
He said it was illogical for the Aquino government to consider the reopening of US military bases because it is banned by the Constitution.
“Hindi naman makatwiran ang paratang na iyan. Dahil labag sa Konstitusyon ‘yung pagkakaroon ng mga foreign military troops. At kahit kailanman ay hindi gumagawa ng labag sa Konstitusyon o batas ang ating pamahalaan,” Coloma said. “Makatwiran lamang na magpakita sila ng kongkretong katibayan at yaman din lamang [na]sila ang nagbabato ng akusasyon, responsibilidad nilang panindigan iyon at patunayan iyon. At kami naman ay handang magbigay ng paliwanag kung maipapakita na may katwiran ‘yung isinasaad ng kanilang posisyon (That claim is ridiculous. The government will not violate the Constitution. Those who are claiming that should present proof, since they’re he ones who are making these allegations),” he added.
The Philippines and the US forged the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement last year to advance the implementation of the decades-old Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty.
The new accord will increase the presence of US troops and military equipment in the Philippines, a move seen to counter China’s activities in disputed territories.