Binay wants specifics on how US will help PH
US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. can shoot his mouth off about how strong ties are between Washington and Manila, but that’s not enough for Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“They said they will help, but they did not give specifics and seemed to suggest it’s up to you to interpret this,” Binay said in a statement in Filipino.
In a speech last week, Thomas declared that Manila and Washington were “strategic partners” and were “longstanding treaty allies,” obviously referring to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.
“We will continue to consult each other closely on the South China Sea, Spratly Islands and other issues,” the US ambassador to the Philippines said to an audience that included President Aquino, who welcomed the reassurance.
Binay, who arrived yesterday from an official trip to the United States, said he remained “optimistic” that the Spratlys dispute would not strain relations between Manila and Beijing.
But he also stressed that the Philippine government “must protect its interests” in what it calls the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“We need not be the cause of the conflict in the Spratlys, but we should not allow China to do what it is doing there,” Binay said.
He defended the decision of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to send the BRP Rajah Humabon, the only World War II-era destroyer still in active service, to patrol the West Philippine Sea.
He said the move was “only to protect the interests of the country.”
But Binay said he strongly believed that the Spratlys issue “could be settled in a peaceful manner.”
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