Armed attack to trigger US-PHL defense treaty, including from militias: US envoy

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United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said in an interview with “The Chiefs” – program aired over Cignal’s One News channel – that he thinks armed attack includes from government-sanctioned militias.

The US ambassador said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his visit to Philippines, “made clear that because the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, under the treaty itself, any armed attack on Filipino vessels, Filipino forces or Filipino aircraft will trigger our obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty.”

“I think that’s about as clear as you can get without getting into millions of possible hypothetical situations,” he added.

When asked about Chinese maritime militias’ presence in West Philippine Sea, Ambassador Kim said “any armed attack, I would think that to include government-sanctioned militias.”

Article 4 of the MDT states “each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes. ” Article 5 states that “an armed attack on either of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the Island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean, its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific.”