Solon backs United States-Philippines defense treaty review

January 01, 2019

A PRORESSIVE party-list lawmaker has backed the government’s call to review the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States.

“A review of the Mutual Defense Treaty would make way for the still ambiguous provisions of the agreement to be clarified. This is particularly needed in case of any attack by a foreign country on our territory including the West Philippine Sea,” said Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano.

Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana brought up the possible review of the Mutual Defense Treaty. According to him, the review is meant to determine whether to maintain, strengthen or scrap the treaty.

Alejano, a former Marine officer, noted that the previous statements of US officials regarding the defense of the Philippines in case of foreign attacks have been “vague and non-committal”.

“With regards to the West Philippine Sea dispute – which is the most pressing security issue now, US have opted to assume a seemingly hands-off attitude. The statements of US officials were vague and non-committal. We hope to hear a definitive stand on the matter,” Alejano emphasized.

Alejano urged the US to welcome the review as an opportunity to reaffirm its alliance with the Philippines.

“This is a chance for US to clarify their commitments to the Philippines as one of its strong allies in the region. This is also to dispel the idea that the Philippines is left at the mercy of expansionist China,” Alejano stressed.

Alejano said he hopes that the review would lead to further strengthening of the Mutual Defense Treaty and having more definitive terms of agreement.