The decades-old defence treaty between the United States and the Philippines needs to be revamped, or risks dragging Manila into a war with China, the Filipino defence chief said yesterday.
Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana made the comments four days after US Secretary Mike Pompeo said Washington would intervene in case of an armed attack on Philippine forces or vessels in the disputed South China Sea.
"It is not the lack of reassurance that worries me. It is being involved in a war that we do not seek and do not want," Lorenzana said in a statement.
Filipino officials have suggested the Philippines' 1951 mutual defence treaty with the US may not apply in the strategic waterway, since Washington has not stopped Beijing building artificial islands over reefs claimed by Manila and other neighbours.