ABS.CBN news —
MANILA — The signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation (EDC) between the United States and the Philippines has been scheduled on Monday morning, ahead of the arrival of US President Barack Obama.
Prime Berunia, information officer of the Department of National Defense, said the agreement will be signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg at 10 a.m. at the AFP Officers Club in Camp Aguinaldo.
This confirms an Associated Press story, which said the two nations have already arrived at a defense deal that will allow American soldiers access to military camps.
The Associated Press said it is a 10-year pact.
Pundits said the signing of the EDC will greatly assist the Philippines as it tries to fend off increased aggression from China over the West Philippine Sea.
Obama will be arriving in the Philippines for his two-day state visit at around 1:30 p.m. on Monday.
He will be coming from Malaysia, where he acknowledged the importance of peace and stability in the face of recent developments over the disputed seas.
Both Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak “underscored the importance of all parties concerned resolving their territorial and maritime disputes through peaceful means, including international arbitration, as warranted, and in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the US embassy in Manila said.
“The two leaders highlighted the importance of all parties concerned avoiding the use of force, intimidation, or coercion, and exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities,” it added.
Origional post here: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/04/27/14/us-ph-reach-new-defense-deal