Palace: No stopping negotiations with US
MANILA - Negotiations on the increased rotational presence of US troops in the country will proceed even if a representative of Palace ally Akbayan is opposing it.
"We know where Akbayan stands on that issue. Our alliance with our friendly groups may differ on certain matters but we know for instance the opinion of Congressman Walden Bello. Does it stop us? No. We are going ahead with the discussion on the framework agreement."
President Benigno Aquino III earlier gave the green light to start negotiating with the United States for an "increased rotational presence" of American troops here, with the Palace saying that this will be "mutually beneficial" to both countries.
Lacierda had said the arrangement will not only involve improving the country's defense capabilities but also its humanitarian and disaster response.
He reiterated that allowing greater access to American troops will benefit the country's interests.
"We have an interest here also. We act according to what is in our best national interest," Lacierda said.
"It's a framework agreement. Both sides will have to discuss, both sides will negotiate on what will be the terms mutually beneficial to both."
Lacierda said the negotiations would be done within the framework of the Constitution and the Visiting Forces Agreement.