Magdalo lawmaker backs US-PH defense treaty review

December 31, 2018
Gary Alejano

AN opposition solon has expressed support for the government’s plan to review the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the Unites States of America.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, a member of House Minority Magnificent 7, agrees with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who has called for a review of the defense deal.

According to Alejano, a review of the Mutual Defense Treaty would allow the ambiguous provisions of the agreement to be clarified.

“This is particularly needed in case of any attacks by a foreign country on our territory including the West Philippine Sea,” he said.

Lorenzana had brought up the possible review of the Mutual Defense Treaty to determine whether to maintain, strengthen or scrap the treaty.

Alejano, a former Marine officer, noted that the previous statements of US officials regarding the defense of the Philippines in case of foreign attacks have been vague and noncommittal.

“With regard to the West Philippine Sea dispute which is the most pressing security issue now, US have opted to assume a seemingly hands-off attitude. The statement of US official were vague and noncommittal, we hope to heat a definitive stand on the matter,” Alejano emphasized.

The Magdalo solon urged US to welcome the review as an opportunity to reassure its alliance with the Philippines.

Alejano stressed that this  is the US’s chance to clarify  their commitments to the Philippines as one of their strong allies in the region.

“This is also to dispel the idea that the Philippines is left at the mercy of expansionist China,” he added.

Alejano expressed hopes that the review would lead to further strengthening of the Mutual Defense Treaty and a more definitive term of  agreement.