MANILA -- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday he has directed a review of the 67-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States, to see if it is still relevant to the Philippines' "national interest.”
“I have just directed our lawyers to start looking into it,” Lorenza said in a Palace press briefing.
“That’s 1951. It’s a 67-year-old treaty. Is it still relevant to our national interest? That’s what we should look at. Let us look at it dispassionately, without considering about past ties, about future ties—dispassionately,” he said.
Lorenzana said the end goal of the review is either “to maintain it, strengthen it, or scrap it”.
He said the provisions of the 1951 MDT should be reviewed whether it is “still valid or still relevant today”.
“It’s been a long time, 1951 against 2018 is a long time already,” Lorenzana noted.
When asked if the disputed West Philippine Sea will be part of the review, Lorenza replied: “Everything, everything, everything. The dynamics going on all over the world.”
Lorenzana said even the National Defense Act of 1935 should be reviewed if it is still relevant to the country’s history.
“The National Defense Act of 1935 is still the law that is being followed by our military. It was 1935, for a long time, much has happened,” Lorenzana said.
“So, that is part of the law that I am trying to review also so that if we can, maybe, we could convince Congress to amend it, to align it with what is happening now in our life as a nation,” he added. (PNA)