MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday, June 3, said the Philippines will assert itself in the disputed South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) once it fully implements a new but legally questioned military agreement with the United States.
“Once everything has been ironed out – there’s a challenge before the Supreme Court (SC) with regard to this agreement – then perhaps we can also pull our weight and do our share toward enhancing security and stability within the region,” Aquino said in a meeting with reporters during his state visit to Japan.
Aquino was referring to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the US.
Signed on April 28, 2014, the EDCA expands US access to Philippine military facilities. (READ: EDCA: Palawan air base added to locations offered to US)