The Philippines and the United States have reaffirmed their commitment to upholding the Mutual Defense Treaty.
This took place during the visit of US Secretary of the Navy Carlos del Toro to the Department of National Defense (DND) on July 26 to discuss developments in bilateral defense relations with senior Philippine defense officials.
“Incoming Undersecretary (Franco Nemesio) Gacal welcomed Secretary del Toro to the Philippines, who is visiting the country for the first time as the US Secretary of Navy. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a statement Thursday.
During the meeting, Del Toro commended the professionalism and dedication of the Philippine Navy.
He also underscored the commitment of US President Joe Biden to a positive and productive relationship with the Philippines, saying they look forward to working closely with the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“Undersecretary Gacal echoed the statements of the President in relation to an independent foreign policy and reaffirmed the DND’s mission to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines,” Andolong said.
Del Toro also cited the importance of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific, as well as respecting rules and international laws.
It was emphasized that both the Philippines and the US can learn from each other during education and training exchanges.
“The meeting ended with the two officials reaffirming the friendship, partnership, and alliance between the Philippines and the US,” Andolong said.
When she arrived last week, US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson visited President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and vowed the US would continue its partnership with the Philippines.
“We are fellow democracies, bound by a rich shared history. We share the powerful, positive ties of family, embodied in the four million Filipino-Americans in the United States and the 350,000 US citizens in the Philippines,” Carlson said.
“Our alliance is a bedrock of our bond, and our Mutual Defense Treaty and other agreements are at the heart of our commitment to helping defend the Philippines’ sovereignty and independence,” she added.
During her visit, Carlson presented her credentials to Marcos thus marking the official start of her term as an envoy.