«This agreement is based on priority concern and the desire of both governments to take appropriate measures in terms of mutual protection, as both Congresses have expressly endorsed in joint resolutions. From the beginning, our negotiators felt that the U.S. government should not maintain military bases in densely populated centres, let alone Manila. Perhaps it was a breeding ground for friction and misunderstanding. This position was in stark contradiction to the plans and program of the U.S. military in the Philippines. The United States, of course, wanted to fulfill its mission and fulfill its commitments with as little effort as possible for new spending. As the army had not thought there would be objections to the establishment of bases in the Manila area, it had gone far in preparing its plans and in concrete construction projects, Manila being the centre of the network of defence facilities. A joint army and navy headquarters has been planned for Manila, in addition to existing facilities. For our part, we are against the installation of bases in the metropolitan area. The number of U.S. military installations to be maintained in the Philippines for purely military purposes is small and meets only the minimum requirements of our mutual protection.

Bases are concentrated in the territories in order to intervene as little as possible in the activities and civil activities of the nation. In any event, I have been able to consult with civilians living in these areas and have been assured that the maintenance of U.S. military installations is desired by civilians. Indeed, residents of a number of areas that the U.S. military and navy are abandoning as military installations have asked the government to persuade the army and navy to stay. I do not think there is any complaint from our own people about this. The issue of jurisdiction was one of the problems we faced. This is a fundamental lesson in the armed forces that a commander must fully control his troops, especially on the issue of discipline.

The existence of an armed force depends on this general requirement. Nevertheless, we were faced with a situation where these American troops had to be deployed on Philippine soil. The jurisdiction of our courts and our laws had to be preserved. After long and intensive studies, a formula has been developed which, in my opinion, will be extremely satisfactory both for military requirements and for the essential dignity of our own sovereign jurisdiction. I believe that the agreements we have reached on this subject are a welcome compromise to meet the most important requirements that needed to be met. To resolve the difficulties in more practical than political or military doses, Ambassador Elizalde took a series of instructions to Washington that detailed our views and the justifications for them. These views were conveyed to officials in the U.S. capital. U.S. Ambassador Paul V. McNutt, a friend of the Philippines, voluntarily flew a three-week mission to Washington to clarify this situation.


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