“As the situation in the West Philippine Sea evolves, we keep all our options open in managing the situation, including leveraging our partnerships with other nations such as the United States,” Department of National Defense (DND) Spokesperson Director Arsenio R. Andolong said in a statement.
He noted that the US’ latest statement reiterating commitment on US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) is an affirmation of longstanding alliance.
“The US admonition to China against the use of force on Philippine public vessels and aircraft, which are performing their constitutional mandate to protect and defend Philippine rights in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, is an additional affirmation of the long-standing partnership between our two countries. This also demonstrates the strength of our alliance and mutual commitment to promote the rules-based international order,” Director Andolong said.
He added that they are in continuous in talks with the US on the matter of MDT.
“Both parties are committed to undertake their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty so that neither stands alone in these issues involving the two states’ inherent right of self-defense, individually and collectively,” Andolong added.