PH confidence on US alliance unaffected by alleged intelligence leaks

Despite a highly-classified Pentagon intelligence information that alleged the United States (US) could be spying on its allies, the Philippines on Wednesday, April 12 (Manila time), maintained its confidence over its alliance with Washington and expressed support for the investigation into the leak.

(From left) Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken (AP Photo/US Embassy in the Philippines)

Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo held a press conference on the PH-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez.

During the media briefing, the officials were asked about a series of documents, purportedly containing classified information about the Ukraine war, Russia, and allies of the United States, that were apparently leaked online.

Some of the documents first appeared on social media platform Discord as early as January, but US intelligence officials reportedly only knew about the existence of the documents this April.

But Manalo expressed confidence of the Philippines’ alliance with the United States despite allegations  that Washington could be "spying" on its key allies, such as South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel.

“First let me also share the view of Secretary Blinken that we are very confident after – especially after today’s meeting of the commitment to our alliance and our partnership,” the Philippine official said.

He added that “I really don’t want to jump to any speculation or jump to any conclusions at this stage” because “we have full confidence in the investigation that will be undertaken.”

“But just let me say that we are confident of the strength of our relationship and our growing partnership,” Manalo stressed.

The US is currently investigating the leaked intelligence documents, some of which officials said may have been tampered.

“I will tell you that we take this very seriously and we will continue to investigate and turn over every rock until we find the source of this and the extent of it,” Austin said during the joint presser.

One of the papers showed that estimates of Russian military personnel deaths in Ukraine to be significantly lower than numbers confirmed by the US, while the numbers of Ukrainian military deaths appear much higher than official figures.

The documents also alleged that the US could had been spying on its allies and its links with the Russian military forces and a certain Wagner Group.