Help from US in protecting PH’s EEZ won’t trigger any war – Recto

Published June 28, 2019, 2:11 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Calling on the United States to help the Philippines in protecting its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) won’t trigger any war.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

This was the belief of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto, contrary to President Duterte’s fear that involving the US in the country’s dispute with China will “all the more bring us to the verge of war.”

“I don’t think involving the US would be tempting war with China,” Recto said in a text message on Friday.”A multilateral diplomatic approach is good for the Philippines,” he added.

Recto echoed Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s call for the Philippines to tap the US to maintain the balance of power in the long-running dispute with China over the West Philippines Sea.

Lacson had asked the government to invoke the Philippines’ Mutual Defense Treaty with the US amid the China fishermen’s intrusion in the Recto Reed) Bank, which is part of the archipelago’s EEZ.

Last June 9, a Chinese fishing vessel rammed a Filipino fishing boat and abandoned its 22 crewmen at sea while it sank near the Recto Bank

While he had challenged the US, as well as Great Britain and France, to support the Philippines in standing up against China, Duterte maintained that he will not put at stake the lives of Filipinos over the Recto Bank incident.

Duterte considered it a “little maritime incident”, and said it should not be a reason to go to war with China.