370. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Philippines 1

1637. For Ambassador. Joint State–Defense message. State and Defense have carefully considered your 1189.2

Defense takes positions given below with which Department finds no objection.
Agrees completely last three of four recommendations your last paragraph and to the first with amplification. Agree exercise jurisdiction by Philippine authorities concurrently with US authorities in accordance your statement Neri’s desires, and with Under Secretary’s suggestion re deputizing officers of base security forces.
Specifically Defense prepared take following action re your numbered recommendations:
  • (1) Permit exercise Philippine “Police and court powers over violations of Philippine laws” with amplification (1) that such limited to cases where offender and offended parties are both Philippine citizens or offense is against security of Philippines as provided paragraph 1–a Article XIII MBA and (2) police powers in such cases exercised by presently constituted police as authorized under d) below.
  • (2) Philippine “Operation schools” already agreed and in process implementation.
  • (3) “Elimination of charges on their citizens which create double taxation”. While Navy cannot concede such allegations valid, since substance such charges is exclusively in nature land rent or municipal service charges, Navy has eliminated many charges and will eliminate others specifically objected to, with understanding that equivalent revenues must be derived by raising land occupancy charges or other charges of unobjectionable nature.
  • (4) “Elimination of fees for ID cards” is acceptable and necessary arrangements will be made.
Re exercise of jurisdiction, Defense agrees with Neri proposals as quoted reference telegram, with amplification given above and will be entirely satisfied with arrangements that “Navy keep entire jurisdiction over military or base security matters.” It is pointed out, however, that Navy courts have never attempted to exercise jurisdiction over violators of Philippine law as between Filipinos and do not propose to do so in the future. Defense wishes it clearly understood, however, that Navy required exercise jurisdiction over violators Uniform Code of Military Justice or area commanders’ regulations for administration of naval base and municipality of Olongapo, and offenses against United States, whether violators thereof Philippine citizens, U.S. civilians, or U.S. armed forces members. Otherwise Navy desires exercise minimum of jurisdiction over Philippine civilians.
In consonance jurisdictional agreement, deputizing law enforcement officers Subic Bay security force now operating in Olongapo may be implemented if agreeable Philippine Government. Necessarily their jurisdiction as Philippine deputies would [be] limited to policing violations Philippine law where offender and offended parties are both Philippine citizens. Furthermore, as stated COMPHILCOM(US) 260157Z Sep,3 the Navy will deliver promptly all Filipinos violating Philippine law to Philippine Courts.
In further implementation concurrent jurisdictions, Navy prepared grant as a right (in lieu “courtesy”, as at present) that Judge Court of First Instance at Iba may, if he desires, hold trials in Olongapo Reservation of cases involving violations Philippine law in which offending and offended parties both Philippine citizens.

In addition above measures Department suggests you make full use Navy plans augment self-government at Olongapo by (1) inauguration completely elective Olongapo Municipal Council, to be chosen by residents, (2) elimination appointed members, (3) reduction eligibility vote for Council members to two years residency instead five years, (4) allowing Council have larger scope of participation in municipal affairs and greater powers of initiative.

FYI Defense feels that concessions beyond these, however, would jeopardize U.S. exclusive control of U.S. military bases and [Page 623] would prejudice the long run strategic value of U.S. bases in the Philippines to the detriment of the Philippines national security as well as that of the U.S. End FYI.

Method and timing use measures authorized above in discussions Philippine Government on Olongapo problem or in relation property settlement negotiations are left entirely to your discretion. COMNAVPHIL can supply advice regarding timing of and details re implementation these measures.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.56396/10–2355. Secret; Priority. Drafted in PSA and approved in draft by OSD and L and in final by Robertson and Hoover.
  2. Document 368.
  3. see footnote 4, Document 365.