Duterte tells Washington not to build military depots in Philippines

Manila [Philippines], Jan. 30 : President Rodrigo Duterte has accused Washington of building "depots" in the Philippines to store live ammunition, warning that he would abrogate a bilateral treaty if the United States is indeed building permanent structures on Philippine soil.

"Here is my worry. They (The Americans) are making depots, they are unloading arms in the Philippines now, in Palawan, Cagayan de Oro and Pampanga," Xinhua quoted Duterte as saying at a news conference in the presidential palace after midnight Sunday.

"I am serving notice to the Armed Forces of the U.S.: Do not do it. I will not allow it," he said, citing a provision in the Visiting Forces Agreement signed by both countries that no permanent facilities should be built on the Philippine territory.

He said "a depot by any other name is a depot ... It is prohibited under the law. It's not allowed by the treaty." The Philippines President said building a depot and stoking them with live ammunition is dangerous to the people in the country, describing it as a magnet for attack.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said last week that the U.S. military will start building facilities in Philippine military camps this year as part of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that Washington and Manila signed in 2014.

The Philippine constitution bars the presence of foreign military bases, troops, or facilitates on Philippine soil.

However, Duterte said the U.S. troops can still conduct joint military exercises with Philippines troops..

Source: ANI