Duterte invokes PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty | Malaya Business Insight

Reference:
Montemayor, J. & Hachero, A. (2019, July 18). Duterte invokes PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty. Malaya Business Insight. Retrieved July 18, 2019 from https://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/duterte-invokes-ph-us-mutual-defense-treaty

Duterte invokes PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty
BY JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR and ASHZEL HACHERO – July 18, 2019

PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday asked the United States to enforce a military treaty between Manila and Washington in connection with a territorial dispute between China and the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea.

“Now, I’m calling now America. I am invoking the RP-US pact, and I would like America to gather all their Seventh Fleet in front of China. I’m asking them now and I will join them, and I will ride on the boat where the admiral of the US. But I will drag along this Carpio (Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio) and the rest of the, Albert (former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario),” he said.

There was no word from Malacañang on whether Duterte was again being “sarcastic.”

Early this month, the President said the US should be the first one to take a shot at China through the deployment of its Seventh Fleet if it really wants to keep the Chinese at bay. However, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and concurrent presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President was just being “sarcastic” as he was exasperated that his critics insist on invoking the 1951 RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

As for Carpio, he said the President might just be “joking” because the latter “knows that the Philippines can invoke the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty only if there is an armed attack on Philippine territory or Philippine military ships and aircraft.”

“This has not happened,” he added.

Carpio is a vocal critic of Duterte’s stance in the West Philippine Sea issue, particularly the administration’s decision not to invoke the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration junking China’s massive claim in the South China Sea.

Calls to enforce the MDT, which states that both countries would assist each other when either one is attacked by a foreign force, followed an incident last month at the Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea, involving a Chinese vessel which rammed and sank a Filipino fishing boat. Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Duterte, who has been saying China is a friend, has received flak for downplaying the June 9 incident, calling it a “little maritime incident.”

Duterte, during the TV program of pastor Apollo Quiboloy yesterday, said his detractors have been harping about invoking the MDT to address the territorial dispute on the premise that “an attack of one is an attack of all against all American forces,” when in fact, he said, there is a condition that the US can intervene only if there is a violent attack on the Philippines.

He said this clearly means that the US cannot interfere in territorial controversies.

Duterte also said he would even ask the Americans to allow him to “press” the button that would start of the war which he said may result in the “end” of Palawan.

“We can just wait for just like a big hole coming our way to suck us to eternity. And then we can sing the Mona Lisa,” the President said.

Duterte reiterated that the Philippines could easily be beaten by China in a war.

US Ambassador Sung Kim has said a foreign armed attack on Philippines will trigger US obligations under the MDT while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has assured the Philippines the US would respond to “any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea.”

Category: National | Malaya Business Insight

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