US reaffirms security commitment to the PH under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty

US reaffirms security commitment to the PH under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty

The Good news- US has reaffirmed its security commitment to the Philippines under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, which the Philippines wanted to clear some vague provisions with respect to military support in the event of foreign attack to the country.

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has called for the review of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States of America. The country would like to have Washington to give a definitive commitment of armed support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the event of armed conflict with the other claimants.

US State Secretary Michael Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. at the State Department in Washington. ( photo credit to owner)

Lorenzana stressed the need for the review of the treaty given the unclear stand of the United States on the country’s maritime domain, including its territorial issues/artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea.

Lorenzana wanted the US to be clear on its stand in the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea over which the Philippines has sovereign rights should be covered by the MDT to obligate the US to come to the aid of the country if ever the Philippines will be attacked by other states.

Bad news- The PH is on its own in the WPS issue

The United States of America had made it clear it is not taking sides in the territorial dispute over the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea among the Philippines, China and other Southeast Asian countries with claims in the sea.

Unlike the US-Japan set up, where the former has made it clear that it is ready to defend Japan from any external attacks. Article 5 of its security pact with the US, Japan allows American forces stationed in the country to help maintain peace and repel foreign aggressors or put down internal disturbances sparked by instigation or intervention by external forces.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. agreed to explore opportunities to increase people-to-people ties between the two mutual defense allies.

They also re-affirmed their longstanding commitment to human rights and vowed greater cooperation to strengthen the Philippines’ energy security.

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