PHL unlikely to develop nuclear weapons

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines is not keen on developing nuclear weapons.

And there are a number of reasons on why the country cannot do so, he added.

“Develop our own nuclear weapons to enforce the tribunal ruling? Very unlikely for several reasons. First, we are not technically and technologically capable. Second, we are a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (also known as the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons),” Lorenzana said in a message to reporters Saturday.

The DND chief made this comment in the wake of former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s pronouncements that if the country wants to enforce its victory over China in an international tribunal, then it should develop nuclear weapons.

“We appreciate Sen. Enrile’s patriotic duty to suggest how to protect what is legally ours but developing a nuclear weapon is not the way to proceed,” he added.

The Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons also known as NPT was signed on July 1, 1968 and became effective on March 5, 1970.

The treaty seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.

Aside from this, the NPT seeks to promote cooperation for the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament.

“Third, our Constitution states that we denounce war as an instrument of national policy. Nuclear weapon is not a defensive weapon but an offensive one,” the DND chief added.

In 2016, the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) nullified China’s 9-dash line map which covers nearly the whole of West Philippine Sea or South China Sea. PNA