US, PH reaffirm commitment to EDCA, Mutual Defense Treaty

The Philippines and United States have reaffirmed commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) during the bilateral meeting of President Duterte and Us President Trump on November 14 in Manila.

“The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, as reinforced by the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,” said in the joint statement released after the meeting.

“The two sides discussed proposals to support the United States’ efforts to help modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, develop capacity and capability for maritime security and domain awareness, and provide rapid humanitarian assistance,” it added.

The two leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to continue defense cooperation, including by reinforcing respective national defense capabilities and interoperability and enhancing joint activities, disaster response, and cybersecurity.

They also reiterated commitment to uphold principles on freedom of navigation and overflight, and the exercise of self-restraint.

“They stressed the importance of peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea, in accordance with international law, as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. They further underscored the need to continue pursuing confidence-building measures to increase mutual trust and confidence, and to refrain from actions that would escalate tensions, including militarization,” the statement added.