Manila to move air force, navy near disputed sea
MANILA (AP) - The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former US naval base north of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country's defense chief and a confidential government report.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Sunday that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the US Navy.
"It's for the protection of our West Philippine Sea," Gazmin told The Associated Press by telephone, using the name adopted by the Philippine government for the disputed South China Sea.
"We're looking now for the funding," Mr Gazmin said from South Korea, where he was on a visit.