Philippine Court OKs Pact Allowing U.S. Troops in Local Camps

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -

The Philippines’ Supreme Court has declared as constitutional a 2014 defense pact that allows American forces, ships and planes to temporarily station in local military camps.

Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te says a majority of the justices also ruled Tuesday that the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement is an executive agreement that does not need Senate approval.

The ruling will bolster U.S. efforts to reassert its presence in Asia and dovetails with Philippine efforts to harness America’s help in addressing what it perceives as China’s aggressive acts in the disputed South China Sea.

Washington welcomed the court decision. Left-wing activists said they would consider an appeal, adding that U.S. military presence won’t solve the country’s worries over China in disputed waters.