US Navy mulls pledging military support to grounded PH ship at Ayungin Shoal

  • The US Navy is contemplating on pledging military support to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal
  • This will include a ‘new guarantee’ under the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense that will declare any attack on Philippine facilities would prompt a US response
  • The idea has been in discussion between the Pacific Command and the Pentagon

MANILA, Phillipines  – The United States Navy is seriously considering on providing the Philippines with ‘new guarantee’ under the existing 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty that would see the Philippine Marine troops deployed at Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) adequately protected in the event China decided to become more aggressive and try to expel them from the island.

The Washington Times reports that the issue became the subject on Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee led by Sen. John McCain with Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command.

MCain was quizzing Harris on how the United States will respond to an attack by China on the territory  such as the Ayungin Shoal, or against the armed forces of the Philippines stationed in the area under the US-Philippines treaty.

The Arizona Republican senator himself raised the possibility of providing a ‘direct U.S. military guarantee’ to the Philippines, to which Harris replied: “I think we should consider it, and we should have a discussion of it in the policy arena.”

New guarantee

Washington Times’ Bil Gertz revealed that such guarantee had been discussed internally at the Pacific Command and the Pentagon. This guarantee would include, above all things, designing a declaration that any attack on Philippine failities on West Philippine Sea would prompt a US military response.

The main objective of which is to deter China’s growing aggression and rapid militarization in the region. (Click here to read more)

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