Philippine Supreme Court declares military deal with U.S. constitutional

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 12, 2016 1:26 AM

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday declared a security deal with the United States constitutional, allowing an increased U.S. military presence in its former colony as tensions rise in the South China Sea.

Manila has long been a staunch U.S. ally and the pact is widely seen as important for both as the Philippines confronts an assertive China in the disputed Spratly archipelago and Washington launches a "pivot" back to Asia.

Voting 10-4, the 15-member court denied the petition of some lawmakers and activists to declare the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) unconstitutional because it surrendered Philippine sovereignty to a foreign power.

(Reporting By Manuel Mogato: Editing By Nick Macfie)