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Home Sections Politics Secretary Clinton Assures Sec. A. del Rosario U.S. to Abide by US-PH Treaty
Secretary Clinton Assures Sec. A. del Rosario U.S. to Abide by US-PH Treaty PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Monday, 27 June 2011 07:29

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2011 Journal Group Link International)

 

D ateline Washington, DC. 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.

 

Invoking the provision of the Philippines-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton assured visiting Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario in Washington, D.C., that the United States will honor its commitment to the treaty that is marking its 60th anniversary this year.

Secretary Clinton said the Treaty signed in 1951 “continues to serve as a pillar of our relationship and a source of stability in the region.”

 

They agreed to consult closely on ways to protect their shared interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the West Philippine Sea.

 

Earlier, Secretary Del Rosario told the Washington Post, “The situation is shaky out there. The intrusions are getting more aggressive. China has escalated its challenges in an area recently found to contain large deposits of natural gas. From frigates firing on our fishing boats, they’ve gone to harassing our exploration boats to bringing in platforms and posts.”

 

Mr. Del Rosario said he would like to get clarification from U.S. officials if the MDT “extends to offshore territory and for help in obtaining new patrol boats.”

 

At the meeting, Secretary del Rosario also conveyed to Secretary Clinton the Philippine government’s resolve to strengthen its capabilities to defend its maritime territory “because the Philippines is prepared to do what is necessary to stand up to any aggressive action in our backyard.”

 

UNCLOS STRESSED

 

He welcomed Secretary Clinton’s statement that the US “is determined and committed to supporting the defense of the Philippines, and that means trying to find ways of providing affordable material and equipment that will assist the Philippine military to take the steps necessary to defend itself.”

 

Secretary del Rosario stressed that international law, particularly the UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) is the Philippine basis for defining its territory and maritime entitlements in the WPS. He briefed Secretary Clinton on the Philippines’ proposal on how to transform the WPS or SCS from a zone of dispute to a Zone of Peace, Friendship, Freedom and Cooperation (ZoFFP/C).

 

The Secretaries exchanged views on a range of bilateral issues, including the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue; the $434-million Millennium Challenge Compact to reduce poverty, improve infrastructure and revenue collection; cooperation in counterterrorism; and the Partnership for Growth (PFG) which is a joint endeavor “to unlock the Philippines’ potential for sustained and broad-based economic growth.”

 

Secretary Clinton commended the Philippine government’s aggressive prosecution of the suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre. She also thanked the Philippine government for its decisive actions to combat trafficking and gave assurances that the next Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report will take into account the government’s accomplishments.

 

EXCHANGE OF VIEWS

 

T hey also exchanged views on how the Philippines and the US can work together in multilateral fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit.

 

Secretary Clinton expressed appreciation for Secretary del Rosario’s acceptance of her invitation to visit Washington D.C. and noted his visit was timely to discuss how the Philippines and the US “will chart a new vision for (our) critical alliance.”

 

Secretary Clinton praised Secretary del Rosario for having served “with distinction” as Philippine ambassador to the US from 2001 to 2006.

 

Mr. Del Rosario was accompanied in his visit to the U.S. State Department by Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at: (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)



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