US, PHL must clearly define roles when need arises under MDT: defense chief

“Given this challenge with China, everyone must be asking why we initiated the call to review the MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) with the United States, our only treaty ally,” National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during the National Defense College of the Philippines dubbed “The National Security Outlook for the Philippines in 2019” on February 5.

“We believe it is time to sit down with our US counterparts and revisit the terms of our alliance,” he added.

He also explained that while partnership and historical ties are being valued, Philippines and United States must clearly define roles and responsibilities when need arises.

He also said that growing relationship with China will not compromise sovereign rights.

“While we recognize China as a bilateral partner for joint ventures and other endeavors, it is worth emphasizing that our territorial sovereignty and integrity, maritime entitlements and rights should not be compromised. We are not compromising them, we are not giving them away,” he said.
“The Philippines continues to view the arbitral tribunal ruling as valid and legitimate. We have not, and we will never surrender any part of our territory.”