No deal yet on increased rotational presence of US forces

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Friday, February 14, 2014

MANILA -- The Philippines and the United States are still working on a framework agreement that would allow increased rotational presence of US troops in the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III said Friday.

The President, in an interview with media in Pasay City, said both sides want to make sure the pact does not violate Philippine and US laws.

"Mula naman noong simulan ang usapan na ito talagang ang focus ay mapamadali, na magkaayos na tayo't magkasundo dito. Iyong principles that we want to uphold... dapat klaro ang details. Sabi nga nila, the devil is in the details. Iyong details ang medyo kailangan pang plantsahin," he said.

The President made the clarification amid speculations that the pact is being readied for signing in time for US President Barack Obama's visit to the Philippines in April.

But for now, Aquino said there are still meetings being held to iron out the details of the pact that would allow a US rotational presence that will meet both the needs of the Philippines and the US.

The added presence of US forces is seen to boost the Philippines' position in its territorial row with China in the West Philippine Sea or the South China Sea. (SDR/Sunnex)

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