Gov. Mamba urges Cagayanos to oppose EDCA sites in Cagayan

CAGAYAN – Gov. Manuel Mamba has urged the Cagayanos to have their voice and united stand against having an Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA) site in the province.

The governor had already announced publicly that he is opposing any sites in Cagayan.

That was the governor’s reaction upon the announcement of the Presidential Communications Office that the EDCA sites will be in Cagayan’s Naval Base Camilo Osias and Lal-lo Airport, Camp Melchor dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela, and Balabac Island in Palawan.

The current EDCA locations include Fort Magsaysay (Nueva Ecija), Basa Air Base (Pampanga), Antonio Bautista Air Base (Palawan), Mactan-Benito Abuen Air Base (Cebu), and Lumbia Air Base (Cagayan de Oro).

Under EDCA, the US and the Philippine militaries train together, respond to natural and humanitarian crises, and achieve modernization goals.

The Philippines retains sovereignty and control over EDCA agreed locations.

The US and the Philippines determine EDCA locations together, but the Philippines leadership provides final approval.

Mamba is more optimistic on supposed investment as he welcomes foreign nationals and plans to open the Port of Aparri.

But on having an EDCA site in Cagayan, he said he is worried of becoming a target considering a brewing conflict between China and Taiwan.

The governor also urged all Cagayanos to join in prayer to open everyone's minds to prevent the existence of EDCA sites in the province.

“Ako po ay nagsusumamo sa inyo na magkaroon tayo ng boses ng paninindigan. Kailangan na marinig ang ating tinig, ang ating oposisyon sa gustong gawin sa ating probinsya na may digmaan, ayaw natin ng EDCA sites sa Cagayan. Iparating natin ito sa Malacañang, ito na ang pagkakataon (I appeal to you (Cagayanos) to have common stand. We need your voice and strong opposition against the plan to have war in our province. We don’t want EDCA sites in Cagayan. Let this message reach Malacañang),” said Mamba.

The governor said that Cagayan does not need war but an opportunity with China for Cagayan to trade in the field of agriculture so the economy of the province will grow.

A series of prayer rallies to be staged by multi-sectoral groups in Cagayan in the coming days or until next week is set to oppose EDCA sites.