Marcos’ Stance on Invoking MDT Amidst Chinese Actions in West Philippine Sea

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. PHOTO FROM PCO
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MANILA, Philippines: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has expressed his deep concern over China’s aggressive maneuvers against Philippine ships in the West Philippine Sea. However, he believes that it is not yet the appropriate time to invoke the country’s Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States, which allows Washington to come to Manila’s aid.

During a press conference in Melbourne, Australia, before returning to the Philippines, President Marcos Jr. acknowledged the seriousness of China’s recent actions but emphasized that invoking the MDT should be carefully considered. “I do not think that it is the time or the reason to invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty. However, we continue to view with great alarm this continuing dangerous maneuvers and dangerous actions that are being done against our seamen, our Coast Guard,” Marcos stated.

President Marcos Jr. expressed his concern over the damage caused to a Philippine cargo ship and the injuries sustained by Filipino seamen. He emphasized that such incidents cannot be taken lightly and called for stronger objections to be made. “We cannot view this in any way but in the most serious way. Once again, we will make our objections known and hope that we can continue to communicate to find a way so that such actions are no longer seen in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

The Philippines and the United States have had a mutual defense treaty in place since 1951. This treaty binds the two countries to provide assistance to each other in the event of foreign aggression. However, President Marcos Jr. believes that invoking the treaty at this time may not be the most effective course of action.

China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea have been a cause for concern not only for the Philippines but also for the international community. The disputed waters are rich in natural resources and have been a subject of territorial disputes between China and several Southeast Asian countries.

President Marcos Jr.’s decision not to invoke the MDT reflects a careful consideration of the situation and the potential consequences of such a move. By choosing to continue diplomatic efforts and communication, the Philippines aims to find a peaceful resolution to the ongoing tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

It is important to note that President Marcos Jr.’s stance is based on a thorough evaluation of the current circumstances and the country’s best interests. The decision not to invoke the MDT does not indicate a lack of concern or a disregard for the safety and security of the Philippines. Instead, it highlights the need for strategic and diplomatic approaches to address the complex issues in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines remains committed to protecting its sovereignty and ensuring the safety of its citizens. While the country values its alliance with the United States, President Marcos Jr. believes that exploring diplomatic channels and engaging in dialogue with China can lead to a more sustainable and peaceful resolution.

As the situation in the West Philippine Sea continues to evolve, the international community closely watches the actions and decisions of all parties involved. The Philippines, along with its allies and partners, will continue to navigate this challenging landscape with the goal of safeguarding peace and stability in the region.

Source: The Manila Times

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