Tuguegarao City, Cagayan – Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba opposes the expansion of US military bases in face of China’s military rise. for a possible inclusion of the province following an announcement from the Department of National Defense’s (DND) of a deal that gave United States access to four more bases in strategic areas across the country in the implementation of the new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
Defense officials have yet to announce the locations but reports said the province of Cagayan facing China, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula were being considered as a possible site.
Mamba said, United States is a nuclear power, consequently the Americans will “always be a magnet for nuclear power attack or nuclear armed attack,” we can’t afford to be.
, “Any foreign forces are not welcome here. This is my personal opinion; at the least, I have to consult our people, though I knew this is the right thing.” Mamba emphasized.
The residents of the province will not allow to have conflict with any of the Philippines neighbors, Mamba said.
We are not at war with other countries. We have no enemies among our neighbors – not Taiwan, not China, not Japan, not Korea, they are not our enemies.
“I have my personal stand on the issue but of course we have to consult our people also on what is best for our province,” Mamba stressed.
Mamba said he does not believe that the new EDCA sites as stated by DND would only be use for the augmentation of the protection of locales that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the speedier disaster response and mitigation when our front-liners are called to action.
“That’s not true! We have experienced two super typhoons and so far I haven’t seen any American around to rescue. We have managed disasters by our own selves, he said.
In November 2022, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stated that the Americans wanted five additional EDCA sites citing two sites in Cagayan and one each in Palawan, Zambales and Isabela where the additional joint military facilities could be built.
Cagayan is hosting at least four military facilities.
But in case the national government will include the province as an EDCA site, they should find an island in the province to put up the US facilities, Mamba said.
He named Puga Island with 2,000 residents who can be easily evacuated to mainland Cagayan in case a shooting warfare break out.
Mamba said he has yet to be formally informed if Cagayan will be included in the additional EDCA sites and he has yet to consult the residents, but if they just do it one-sided, then who am I to oppose if it will be for the national interest of our country, why not?
“I am not pro-China nor pro-America rather I am pro-Cagayan and do what is best for the populace of the province and I am for our country, Mamba disclosed.