War freak or reasonable alarmist? Alejano says Spratlys incident could trigger MDT
Is Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano being too much of a war freak, or is he raiding due alarm?
This, as the opposition politiko bared on Sunday (April 23) new details that according to him could “trigger the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)” over the recent shooing of Filipino fishermen by the Chinese in Spratly Islands.
“According to the initial reports, it was the Chinese Coast Guard that was involved in the Union Bank incident. However, in our meeting with the fishermen themselves, we were able to know that it was actually a Chinese Navy ship,” said Alejano, who is a former Marine captain.
“The function of the Coast Guard (white vessel) is to enforce maritime law, and to conduct search and rescue, while the Navy (gray ship) is warfighting. The aggressive act of the Chinese Navy could trigger the Mutual Defense Treaty and there is a danger that the situation may escalate,” he stressed.
Reports said on Thursday, April 20 that the Chinese fired warning shots to ward off Filipino fishermen from Union Bank in the Spratlys, which is within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone or EEZ.
Since the foreign elements turned out to be from the Navy, Alejano has expressed concern over it.
The United States (US) is an MDT partner of the Philippines since 1951. Incidentally, the US and China, two of the most powerful nations on earth, aren’t on the friendliest of terms right now.
Basically, the accord declares that both nations would support each other if either the Philippines or the US were to be attacked by an external party.
Alejano met with the concerned fishermen on Saturday, April 22.