Senators eye PI's former naval base - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Senators eye PI's former naval base

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Instead of the Guam buildup, will we see the military returning to the Philippines? Media in that country are reporting about a visit by two U.S. senators who reportedly were scoping the former Naval Base this week.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer Senators Daniel Inouye and Thad Cochran met with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Olongapo City officials. The article suggests that the disasters in Japan may have an impact on the plans for the buildup for Guam and as a result it raises the prospect that the military could return to the Philippines.

Guam buildup chair Judi Guthertz said, "I doubt very much that the Philippine Congress would allow for American bases in the Philippines again. If you recall the Philippine congress insisted on not renewing the base agreement for Clark and Subic. And I don't think knowing the thinking of the leadership in that country that they would welcome the return of Americans bases in the Philippines."

The former U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay was a major ship repair, supply and rest recreation facility. It was the largest Navy installation in the Pacific. It was closed after the Philippine government in 1992 voted not to renew its basing agreement with the United States.

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