Last update 7/19/2011 10:00:00 PM (GMT+7)

Philippines welcomes US measure binding assistance during foreign aggression

VietNamNet Bridge - Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario welcomed a resolution filed before the United States Congress that in effect, binds Washington to assist the country in time of foreign aggression.

While at the same time calling for a peaceful settlement to territorial disputes in the South China Sea (East Sea), Del Rosario said the introduction of US House Resolution No. 352, will go a long way in maintaining peace in an area shared by countries of Southeast Asia as well as China and the United States.

House Resolution No. 352 calls for "a peaceful and collaborative resolution of maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea and its environs and other maritime areas adjacent to the East Asian mainland."

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, introduced the House Resolution on July 15. The House Resolution also had 27 co-sponsors, notably, 18 Republicans and 9 Democrats.

The Philippines' position calls for a peaceful, multilateral and rules-based settlement of the East Sea disputes in accordance with international law. Likewise, it condemns the use of force and overt threats in resolving the disputes.

In the resolution, certain provisions were highlighted. In particular, one provision stated that "on 23 June 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told then visiting Foreign Secretary Del Rosario that ‘we are determined and committed to supporting the defense of the Philippines.'

It also mentioned that Del Rosario stated that the Philippines is a small country, but is "prepared to do what is necessary to stand up to any aggressive action in our backyard."

There was also a provision saying that the United States, on 23 June 2011, stated that it was ready to provide hardware to modernize the military of the Philippines.

Earlier, the US Senate approved a resolution introduced by Senator Jim Webb deploring the use of force by China in the East Sea and calling for a peaceful, multilateral resolution to maritime territorial disputes in Southeast Asia.