MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the United States government should enforce its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines amid the maritime tension in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“I’m calling now America. I’m invoking the RP-US pact. I would like America to gather all their 7th Fleet in front of China. I’m asking them now. I will join them,” he said in an interview over Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s TV program.
“I will ride on the boat where admiral of the US. I will drag along Carpio and the rest. When the Americans say, we’re here now, ready, I will press them.”
“Maybe that would be the end of Palawan. Palawan may be devastated, occupied or their will be nuclear bombs. We will dry up. So nothing will grow here, we can just wait, just like a big hole coming our way, to suck us to eternity and then we can sing the ‘Mona Lisa.’ And they just lie there, and they die there,” he added.
The Philippines and US signed a pact in 1951, which binds both countries to aid each other in the event of foreign aggression.
Article 4 of the Mutual Defense Treaty states that “each party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.”
US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim had said that a foreign armed attack on Philippine security forces will trigger US obligations under the treaty.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this year also gave assurances that the US would respond to “any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea.”