DND spokes says MDT of 1951 holds; confirms talks with US on South China Sea
Defense Department spokesperson: “American message to China shows long-standing PH-US partnership”
MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) through its spokesperson Director Arsenio R. Andolong said the American admonition to China against the use of force on Philippine public vessels and aircraft, “which are performing their constitutional mandate to protect and defend Philippine rights in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, is an additional affirmation of the long-standing partnership between our two countries.”
He said this also demonstrates the strength of the alliance and mutual commitment to promote the rules-based international order.
“We are continuously in talks with the U. S. on the matter of mutual defense. Both parties are committed to undertake their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty (of 1951) so that neither stands alone in these issues involving the two states’ inherent right of self-defense, individually and collectively,” the statement said.
Director Andolong said with the evolving situation in the West Philippine Sea, “we keep all our options open in managing the situation” which includes leveraging partnerships with other nations including the United States.
“We remain committed to protecting and defending our national interests, while upholding the security and stability in the region through peaceful and rules-based approach,” the Defense Department spokesperson concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)