Palace won't allow entry of nuke-carrying US ships - Valte

Posted at 04/14/2014 3:14 PM

MANILA - The Palace gave its assurance that the administration will not allow the entry of US ships carrying nuclear weapons.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said, however, that there is a difference between warships that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and warships that are actually carrying them.

Valte said that while the 8th round of negotiations for the proposed agreement on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation between the Philippines and US are ongoing, there will be no "hard and fast rule" governing both sides.

The only explicit instruction from the President is that all provisions of the proposed agreement need to follow the 1987 Constitution and the existing Visiting Forces Agreement.

On Sunday, Malacanang assured the public that national interest will be paramount when President Benigno Aquino III reviews the new security accord with the United States.

In an interview with radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino’s guiding principles are the Constitution and the country’s national interest.

This, even if Malacanang does not intend to submit the new defense deal before the Senate for its concurrence.

“We have stated previously the Philippine panel’s position that it is not a new treaty and does not require Senate action,” he said. - with reports from Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News