Lacson-Sotto tandem seeks use of alliances, US-PH MDT vs China
MANILA, Philippines— The latest incident involving the Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea is a “very bad omen” that calls for a stronger response from the government, the tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said Thursday.
As a presidential aspirant, Lacson underscored the need to forge alliances with “militarily strong” nations, Sotto, his running mate added that it is high time that the Philippines invoke its Mutual Defense Treaty (MTD) with the United States in territorial disputes with China.
Given its military capability, Lacson recognizes that the Philippines will not win against China.
“So ang pinag uusapan namin ni Senate President dito e umasa tayo sa tinatawag na balance of power na makipag alyansa tayo hindi yung parang push over na lang tayo,” the chairman of the Senate committee on nation defense said in an online interview with reporters.
(So I’m discussing with the Senate President about the balance of power, that we need to forge an alliance so we are not seen as a pushover)
“Sarili na nga nating teritoryo, tayo pa ang tinataboy, wina water cannon . Napakasamang pangitain yun so kailangang ma correct ito,” Lacson added.
(We are being driven away, water cannoned in our own territory. That’s a very bad omen so we have to correct that)
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier disclosed that last November 16, China Coast Guard vessels “blocked and water cannoned” Philippine supply boats on a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
While no one was hurt in the incident, Locsin said the Philippine vessels had to abort the resupply mission.
Sotto, meanwhile, believes the Philippines can fight China by invoking its Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States.
“Tinataboy, may nasaktan o wala, baka panahon na talaga na medyo, hindi naman parang veiled threat pero dapat siguro i highlight natin uli yung mga provisions nung Mutual Defense Treaty sapagkat yun ang panlaban dyan,” he said in the same interview.
(Whether someone was hurt or not, this is not a veiled threat but maybe it is really time that we highlight the provisions of the Mutual Defense Treaty as our weapon)
Under the MDT, Sotto said “any form of aggression” would compel the United States to come to the Philippines’ defense.
“So siguro kahit parang veiled threat yan, our government should look into it right away at tingnan natin kung ano ang magiging reaksyon ng China,” the Senate leader said.
(Although it sounds like a veiled threat, our government should look into it right away and let’s see the reaction of China)
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