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Marcos: PH to invoke MDT if Filipino killed in WPS


President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday said that the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States will be invoked if a Filipino serviceman is killed in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

"I think [US Defense] Secretary [Lloyd] Austin explained it very well, [that] if any servicemen, Filipino serviceman, is killed by an attack from any foreign power, then that is time to invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty," Marcos said at the  Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines' 50th Anniversary Presidential Forum.

"As long as they have actually caused casualties, and it has killed the serviceman... whatever their designation are, whether they're merchant, marine or Coast Guard or actual grey vessels or Navy vessels, it does not matter. That is an attack to the Philippines by a foreign power" he added.

The president explained this when asked when the MDT will be invoked amid recent aggressions by China against Filipinos in the WPS.

Marcos, who was recently in Washington DC for the trilateral meeting with US and Japan, shared that he has thanked Austin for making a very clear statement on the MDT.

Top diplomats, and defense and security officials of the Philippines and the US met last Friday to discuss the MDT, with Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo raising the need for the talks to deter further escalation by China in the South China Sea.

The meeting came after China Coast Guard attacked a Philippine resupply ship en route to the Ayungin Shoal twice in March 2024 alone, which caused heavy damage and hurt Filipino sailors.

The Philippine ship was on a mission to provide supplies to the decrepit Navy vessel the BRP Sierra Madre that had been aground in the country’s outpost in the area.—NB, GMA Integrated News