Credit to Author: The Manila Times| Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:30:12 +0000
DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana asked foreign ships to be cautious when passing through Philippine waters, following the near collision between US and Russian ships.
Lorenzana admitted in an interview on Monday that such a “miscalculation” may get the US “engaged in a shooting war,” which may “automatically involve us because we are with [the] US in the alliance [through the] MDT,” referring to the Mutual Defense Treaty forged between the US and the Philippines in 1951.
“So that is what I was talking about…I just hope that [foreign] ships will not get near with each other because it might cause miscalculation,” Lorenzana told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
Last week, Russian Pacific Fleet destroyer Admiral Vinogradov and US warship USS Chancellorsville came close to colliding within the Philippine Sea, with the two blaming each other for the near mishap.
Moscow said USS Chancellorsville crossed just 50 meters in front of its destroyer while Washington blamed the Russians for being “unsafe and unprofessional” for making an “unsafe maneuver” against the US warship.
Lorenzana had been calling for the review of the MDT between the Philippines and the US, citing the need to clear the “ambiguities” indicated in the pact.
During the interview, Lorenzana disclosed that Defense officials of the Philippines would be meeting with their US counterparts during the annual Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila where they could discuss the MDT on the sidelines.
“Let’s see on what will happen. Maybe we will come out with a proposal and same with them, they may also have their own proposal. We will see which one will weigh,” Lorenzana said. DEMPSEY REYES
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