President Duterte will not allow the US (United States) to make the Philippines a launching pad of their military hardware to attack Iran.
The President said that while the Philippines and the US have defense agreements such as the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Visiting Forces Agreement, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, the country’s interests must still prevail.
According to the President, what he would allow is the refueling of American naval and air assets, which is a common practice of any country that passes by the Philippine territory.
The President said the government’s main focus was on the safety of the Filipinos in Iran and Iraq.
Duterte to side with US if Filipinos are harmed in Middle East tensions
President Rodrigo Duterte will take the side of America in case the Filipinos are hurt by the ongoing tensions between the US and Middle East countries Iran and Iraq.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said this on Tuesday as the Philippines prepares to evacuate OFWs in the Middle East.
Panelo said Duterte would not take it for granted if Filipinos are harmed and that he is merely releasing a “friendly caution” to Iran.
“Duterte ‘will not sit down idly’ if Filipinos are harmed, and is simply issuing a ‘friendly caution’ to Iran, which he earlier said is ‘hell-bent’ on seeking revenge against the US,” Panelo said.
Iran has threatened to retaliate with the death of top military leader Qassem Soleimani, and the Iranian general’s son insists that his father’s death will serve as the ‘darker days’ of the US and Israel.
“Hindi tayo magiging neutral (We will not be neutral). The President was very specific in saying last night that if the Filipinos are harmed, he will side with the Americans,” explained Panelo.