The Philippines ambassador to the U.S. said Thursday the president would open the country’s doors to the American military if the U.S. enters war against Russia.
Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez announced that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte would honor the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. if American forces engaged in war with Russia, the Associated Press reported.
“He says if they’re asking for the support of the Philippines he was very clear that if push comes to shove the Philippines will be ready to be part of the effort especially if this Ukrainian crisis spills over to the Asian region,” Romualdez said according to News 5. “He offered that the Philippines will be ready to open its doors especially to our ally the US in using our facilities, any facilities they may need.”
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The Philippines were one of 141 countries to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Romualdez said despite the president’s efforts to foster closer relations with Russia during his six-year term, Duterte told him that Russia’s war with Ukraine was wrong, the AP reported.
“Give them the assurance that if ever needed, the Philippines is ready to offer whatever facilities or whatever things that the United States will need being a major – our number one ally,” Romualdez told reporters.
The Philippines is willing to allow American military forces to use local bases for its operations in the region if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine spreads to Asia and the Pacific area, Amb. Jose Manuel Romualdez said on Thursday.
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The treaty with the U.S. and the Philippines says that in the event of an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the countries, “or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific or on its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific,” the countries commit to coming to the aid of the other.
Romualdez said the Philippines is among the Association of Southeast Asian countries who will be meeting with the White House and U.S. national security officials this week to discuss the American economic sanctions on Russia, including America’s ban on Russian oil, reported the AP.