United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said that there are no plans concerning their weapons depot.
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US envoy: No arms depot anywhere in Philippines
INTROSPECTIVE - Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - January 31, 2017 - 4:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — American Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on Tuesday denied the accusation of President Rodrigo Duterte that the United States is building weapons depot in the country.

The president has threatened to abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement after expressing concern that the US military allegedly unloaded arms in Palawan, Cagayan de Oro and Pampanga.

Kim said that wrong information was relayed to the president regarding the weapons depot.

"I think perhaps some misinformation was given to the president and that's why he made the statement expressing concerns about posible weapons depot. The fact is we are not building a weapons depot anywhere in the Philippines," Kim said in a meeting with the Makati Business Club.

The ambassador cited earlier clarifications from senior Armed Forces of the Philippines official disputing the president's accusation.

The American envoy, however, noted that US troops are allowed to build facilities and structures in five Filipino bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

"It's hard to imagine that we would be able to do anything on Filipino bases that are not acceptable to the Filipino people, Filipino leadership. I think there's already a very strong protection for Filipino interests in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement," Kim said.

Kim added that the US does not have any plan that closely resembles a weapons depot.

"A couple of projects that are being pursued this year have to do with things like disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. Not at all related to any weapons," the ambassador said.

Duterte earlier said that he will consider reviewing and ultimately abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement after accusing the US military of building arms depot in the country.

"I am serving notice to the Armed Forces of the United States: Do not do it. I will not allow it," Duterte said at a media briefing early Monday.

EDCA ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT RODRIGO DUTERTE UNITED STATES VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT
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