The Department of National Defense (DND) is eyeing for the review of United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). This was bared by National Defense Secretary Delfin Lroenzana on December 20.
“Ang sinasabi nila (US) sa MDT ay Metropolitan Philippines and ang definition nila is just the whole country plus mga islands na sakop natin. I think hindi kasama ang Kalayaan. Yun ang problema natin the US has always said they will not meddle in territorial disputes. That’s how we look at it, the [disputed] islands are not covered by the MDT,” he said.
“In fact yung Scarborough Shoal, napakalapit 130 kilometers lang from Masinloc, Zambales eh mukhang hindi pa siguro sa kanila kasama yan sa Metropolitan Philippines,” he added.
“Tingan muna natin kung ano yung provision diyan, discuss it with them with the end view of reviewing it to make it stronger,” he said.
Sources: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/12/20/Philippines-U.S.-Mutual-Defense-Treaty-South-China-Sea-dispute.html; https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/21/1878729/defense-chief-seeks-philippine-us-treaty-review; https://globalnation.inquirer.net/172107/philippines-mulls-clarifying-if-disputed-territories-part-of-defense-treaty-with-us