Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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Obama gives boost to PH

MANILA - President Barack Obama said yesterday he had no desire to contain or counter China despite clinching a defense pact with the Philippines which will inject US forces close to the volatile South China Sea.

In the Philippines on the final leg of an Asian tour, Obama directly addressed leaders in Beijing, telling them that maritime territorial disputes needed to be addressed peacefully, not with "intimidation or coercion."

China's claims to various islands, reefs and atolls in the South and East China Sea have been a constant theme of Obama's tour of countries which fear being squeezed by the giant nation's emergence as a regional superpower.moremoremore

Negrense officials cite benefits

Negros Occidental and Bacolod officials welcomed the visit of President Barack Obama yesterday saying it will be to the mutual benefit of the Philippines and the United States.

Among those who expressed this view were Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., and Representatives Evelio Leonardia (Bacolod) and Jeffrey Ferrer (Neg. Occ., 4 th District).

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) at Camp Aguinaldo yesterday morning hours before Obama's arrival in the Philippines.moremoremore

Protestors slam new defense pact

A rally was staged at the Bacolod City public plaza yesterday morning by about 200 members of militant groups in Negros Occidental to denounce the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States of America.

The 10-year security pact allows a larger U.S. military presence in the Philippines.

The agreement also establishes a framework to boost up rotation of U.S. troops, warplanes and ships to the Philippines, which according to militant groups is prone to abuse.moremoremore

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