MANILA — Malacanang hailed on Tuesday the Supreme Court decision affirming the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) considered an important component of infrastructure to strengthen the country’s military capability.

“This ruling boosts the on-going Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Modernization Program and paves the way for upgrading our military equipment and capability for national defense as well as for humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. in a statement.

Citing President Benigno S. Aquino III, Coloma said one of the benefits of the EDCA would be to introduce the AFP to most modern equipment.

He said the SC ruling affirming the constitutionality of EDCA likewise will strengthen the strategic partnership between the Philippines and the United States (US)

Apart from EDCA, the Philippines has Visiting Forces Agreement and Mutual Defense Treaty with the US.

With a vote of 10-4-1, the SC on Tuesday declared that the EDCA between the Philippines and the US is constitutional.

Under the EDCA, the US will be allowed to build structures, store as well as preposition weapons, defense supplies and material, station troops, civilian personnel and defense contractors, transit and station vehicles, vessels and aircraft for a period of 10 years.

The two countries signed the agreement on April 28, 2014. Leslie D. Venzon/PNA /