Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano has backed the call to review the mutual defense treaty between the Philippines and the United States of America.
“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,” he said.
Alejano was reacting to the statement of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense, who had raised the issue of the treaty’s review.
Lorenzana said the review is designed to determine whether to maintain, strengthen or scrap the treaty.
Alejano, a former Marine officer, cited the previous statements of U.S. officials with regards 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,” he said.
He urged U.S. to welcome the review as an opportunity to reassure 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,” he said.
The review would lead to further strengthening of the mutual defense treaty and having more definitive terms of agreement, he added.