Foreign Secretary Raul Manglapus said Saturday he thinks the United States will not object to a Philippine takeover of Clark Air Base - the largest American air facility overseas - when its basing rights expire next year.
Speaking to reporters a day after the second round of Philippine-U.S. bases talks ended, Manglapus also said President Corazon Aquino's government is receptive to a U.S. proposal for a 10- to 12-year phase down of Subic Bay Naval Complex."The way we see it, they have no objection to the takeover (of Clark)," said Manglapus before he departed for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. "But they are concerned about the time they will make some transfers, . . . dismantling and removal of equipment and personnel."
During the four days of talks with the U.S. panel headed by special negotiator Richard Armitage, the Philippines served notice it would immediately take over Clark next year.
"Our position is non-negotiable," Manglapus said. He added the Philippine armed forces wanted to move into Clark by January and officials want an arrangement for joint use before the basing rights expire on Sept. 16, 1991.
The two panels will meet again in a month in Manila at a date to be announced, but technical-level discussions will continue.
The Philippines wants to turn the facilities into industrial parks and aviation and maritime complexes.