We highly welcome the news where the Philippines and the US reached strategic agreements which enhance our longstanding alliance and particularly improve the Philippines’ deterrent capacity against unlawful incursions in its national territory.
To begin with, based on survey results, Filipino preference for the US is over 90 percent whereas preference for China is 20 percent.
Moreover, a majority of Filipinos are in favor of the building of a credible defense posture against unlawful incursions in their national territory.
We welcome the talks on the joint patrols in the West Philippine Sea to protect our Filipino fishermen and to support the efforts of Filipinos to develop their country’s energy resources.
We also welcome the addition of four new sites under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.
The United States expressed gratitude to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for allowing the US military to broaden its presence in the Philippines, to the mutual benefit of both the Philippines and the US.
In this context, we note the clarification made by former US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, former US Ambassador Sung Kim and the present Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that, under the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty, the US is committed to back the Philippines in the event of a Chinese armed attack against Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft which are rightfully stationed or transiting in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.
We look forward to the following:
To obtain multilateral support, it behooves us to bring our overwhelming Arbitral victory to the U.N. General Assembly.
When I asked a very senior diplomat why we had not successfully done this, the response was that over time they observed that our issue had lost support. Since there was no support from the last administration to begin with, why help a country which refuses to be helped?
We look forward to the possibility of revisiting other approaches such as operational leases for acquiring newer military assets that are faster and maybe cheaper for the defense of Philippine waters and territory.
Since its independence, India has developed very effective ballistic missiles including BrahMos.
As we had previously said, we are opposed to war – as we should be.
But if threatened by the use of force, we should be ready to inflict, at the very least, a bloody nose on any attacker who is out to harm us.
We believe the BrahMos missiles for the Philippines will significantly improve our deterrent capacity against unlawful incursions in our territory.
We are very grateful for all these constructive developments.
We hope all these will advance peace and stability in the region to protect the rules-based international order.
(ADR, Chair, Stratbase ADR Institute, was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines from 2011 to 2016. On July 7, 2015, del Rosario appeared before the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague to present “Why the Philippines brought this case to Arbitration and its importance to the region and the world.” On February 8, 2016, del Rosario announced he would resign as DFA Secretary, citing health reasons. He stepped down on March 7, 2016, nearly four months before the end of President Aquino’s term).