Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. cautioned Filipinos against entertaining claims that the government is selling the Philippines to the U.S., noting that this narrative aligns with China’s intentions to sow discord.

The act of selling, as claimed by a group of vloggers, is substantiated by the presence of Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites in the country, economic agreements, and political alignments.

In response yesterday, June 24, Teodoro quoted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. from his Talk to Troops at the Western Command, stating, “We are not in the business to instigate wars. The Philippines is a responsible state. We will continue to exercise our freedom and rights in support of our national interest in accordance with international law.”

“These allegations falls squarely on the narrative—pumapasok ito sa naratibo ng China. Ginagamit nila itong mga propaganda line na ito upang hindi natin patatagin ang ating sariling depensa at bumigay tayo sa kanilang agresibong mga galaw sa West Philippine Sea (WPS),” Teodoro explained. 

The defense secretary noted that fortunately, 95% of Filipinos surveyed reject these divisive narratives and insinuations.

He further emphasized that under President Marcos, the government is increasingly dedicated to strengthening efforts to protect the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.

There is no merit to propaganda suggesting that the Philippines is being sold out, he said, as the government’s actions unequivocally prioritize the welfare of the Filipino people and future generations.

“Kaya hindi ko alam kung saan galing ang mga taong nananakot ng ganito,” he said.  

EDCA between the Philippines and the United States was signed in 2014 to strengthen the military alliance. Initially, there were five: Antonio Bautista Air Base (Palawan), Basa Air Base (Pampanga), Fort Magsaysay (Nueva Ecija), Lumbia Airfield (Cagayan de Oro), and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base (Cebu). 

These were expanded to include four new sites: Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Island in Palawan; and Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan. 

The U.S. State Department emphasized that the new EDCA locations will significantly enhance the interoperability of American and Filipino forces, enabling them to respond jointly to various challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including natural and humanitarian disasters.