The U.S. admonition to China against the use of force on Philippine public vessels and aircraft, which are performing their constitutional mandate to protect and defend Philippine rights in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea, is an additional affirmation of the long-standing partnership between our two countries. This also demonstrates the strength of our alliance and mutual commitment to promote the rules-based international order.
We are continuously in talks with the U.S. on the matter of mutual defense. Both parties are committed to undertake their obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty so that neither stands alone in these issues involving the two states' inherent right of self-defense, individually and collectively.
As the situation in the West Philippine Sea evolves, we keep all our options open in managing the situation, including leveraging our partnerships with other nations such as the United States. We remain committed to protecting and defending our national interests, while upholding the security and stability in the region through peaceful and rules-based approach.
Dir. Arsenio R. Andolong
Department of National Defense