Alejano backs review of PH-US defense treaty
MANILA, Philippines — Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano on Saturday backed the call to review the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States, saying it could be a chance for the longtime military ally to clarify its commitments to the Philippines.
A review of the 1951 treaty, the opposition lawmaker said, would make way for the “still ambiguous provisions” of the agreement to be clarified.
“This is a chance for U.S. 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 added in a statement.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said they wanted to review of the Mutual Defense Treaty amid concerns on the conflict between the U.S. and China.
Alejano, a former Marine officer, noted that the previous statements of U.S. 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, U.S. have opted to assume a seemingly hands-off attitude,” he said.
“The statements of U.S. officials were vague and non-committal. We hope to hear a definitive stand on the matter,” Alejano added, as he expressed hopes that the review would lead to “further strengthening” of the Mutual Defense Treaty and to “more definitive terms of agreement.” /muf
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