Senate President Vicente Sotto III during a virtual press briefing on March 27 noted that the Philippines does not have a top military power, but it has a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States.
“Kapag tiningnan mo ang lakas ng mga army ng buong mundo, ano, yung kapitbahay natin nasa – top 10 eh, eh tayo baka nasa number 70 or 80 ano – ang ilalaban natin, yung Mutual Defense Treaty,” the senate president said.
He said that even a small boat owned by the Philippine government is attacked by an aggressor the MDT will kick in.
“Kahit isang maliit na bangka o barko na pag-aari ng gobyerno, na nagkaroon ng aggression from any country other than the US, Mutual Defense Treaty kicks in automatically, ganoon ‘yun eh. So talagang, komportable ako doon dahil I rely on that,” Senator Sotto said.
He also said that President Rodrigo Duterte has right strategy on China. “Tama yung diskarte ni President Duterte, kung – tayo sa China na balang araw ito’y maging kaaway natin, o – natin, tama ang diskarte niya, you keep your enemies close to your chest. Keep your enemies close kaya kinakaibigan natin ‘yun,” Sotto said.
“Pero hindi natin aalisin yung pakikipagkaibigan natin sa Amerika na long-time na kaibigan natin sa tagal ng panahon,” he added.