Palace welcomes US support


MANILA – Malacañang welcomed yesterday the United States’ expression of support for the Philippines’ peaceful moves to settle the dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

“We note the US affirmation of its commitment to abide by its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines, as well as its support of the case filed at an arbitration tribunal,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“Adherence to the rule of law and commitment to peaceful settlement of differences among neighboring countries are vital building blocks in achieving regional peace and stability,” he said.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel, the top US diplomat for East Asia, said there should be no doubt about the resolve of America to stand by its allies and meet its commitments amid tensions between Manila and Beijing over their territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines has been protesting China’s aggressive moves on Ayungin (Second Thomas) and Panatag (Scarborough) Shoals, particularly the harassment of Philippine vessels going to these areas.


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