Press Release
June 18, 2019

On Claims that the Mutual Defense Treaty Requires
an Armed Attack for the US/PH to Act

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Nevertheless, as a result of the Reed Bank incident, the Mutual Defense Treaty can be used as a proactive and preemptive measure to justify US presence in order to avert whatever possible armed hostilities that could take place in the West Philippine Sea.

As I said earlier, the incident last week has already happened. But it serves as an eye opener for possible armed confrontation between our Armed Forces of the Philippines or Coast Guard and the Chinese military.

Hence, the presence of US military in the West Philippine Sea can still accomplish the balance of power that I am talking about.

That kind of backward thinking by Sec. Nograles and Mr. Panelo is why we are in this situation. We should not wait for an armed aggression against our vessels to occur before we invoke the treaty.

Proactive thinking by way of increased US presence in the area is logical because of the prevailing situation in the West Philippine Sea. As I said, what we are trying to accomplish is balance of power.

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