The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

World News

April 28, 2014

Obama vigorously defends foreign policy record

(Continued)

MANILA, Philippines —

Obama spoke on the final full day of his four-country Asia swing. The centerpiece of his president's trip was a 10-year security agreement signed with the Philippines Monday that will give the U.S. military greater access to bases on the Southeast Asian nation, which is struggling to bolster its territorial defense amid China's increasingly assertive behavior in the oil- and gas-rich South China Sea

The president arrived in the Philippines Monday afternoon following visits to Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

Despite Obama's warm welcome from President Benigno Aquino, the U.S. increased military role drew consternation from some Filipino activists, who say the agreement reverses democratic gains achieved when huge U.S. military bases were shut down in the early 1990s, ending a nearly century-long military presence in the former U.S. colony.

Some 800 of those activists burned mock U.S. flags and chanted "Nobama, no bases, no war" on the road leading to the gates of the palace where Obama met with Aquino. Others burned an effigy of Obama riding a chariot pulled by Aquino, depicted as dog.

The president was to depart for Washington Tuesday morning after speaking to U.S. and Filipino troops. He was also scheduled to lay a wreath at the Manila American Cemetery, which has the largest number of graves of fallen U.S. military personnel from World War II.

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