The huge U.S. air and naval bases in the Philippines were left in limbo Friday as negotiators concluded four days of often tense talks with no apparent agreement except to meet again.
U.S. and Philippine spokesmen could not even agree on the status of a Philippine proposal to take over three key Pentagon communications facilities and a military rest and recreation center complete with mountainside villas and an 18-hole golf course.At a press conference, Philippine spokesman Rafael Alunan III insisted that the Americans had agreed to cede control of the four installations Sept. 17, 1991, a day after an agreement governing the bases expires.
"They will revert to Philippine control," Alunan said. "They will be 101 percent Philippine."
But U.S. spokesman Stanley Schrager said that there was no such agreement.
"It's a proposal," he said. "To the best of my knowledge no decision has been made."
The facilities are little-known, but they play a key role in Pentagon operations in the Pacific. They include the U.S. Navy master fleet communications and relay station at San Miguel, about 60 miles north of Manila; the Air Force communications and electronic warfare system at nearby Camp O'Donnell; and an air defense radar complex and reserved communications circuits facility at Wallace Air Station, about 145 miles north of Manila.
U.S. special negotiator Richard L. Armitage and Philippine Foreign Minister Raul Manglapus agreed to meet again in Manila in about a month. But they ended the most recent session with vastly different proposals on the fate of Clark Air Base and the Subic Bay Naval Base, the two big installations here.