No formal notice on planned US strikes: Military
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of National Defense (DND) said they have not received any formal coordination from the United States about its reported plan to consider the conduct of airstrike against the ISIS ( Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in the country.
“As reported in media, this is "a plan" being considered. We at the AFP are yet to receive any formal notice or offer for such air capability deployment,” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano said in a statement Tuesday.
Arsenio Andolong, DND public affairs service chief said “Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reiterated that no discussions regarding air strikes from whatever platforms hitting local targets transpired at his level.”
The DND denies any discussions regarding the use of US drones to strike against Daesh-inspired terrorist groups in the Philippines,” he added.
Ano said “the existing Mutual Defense Treaty provides that only technical assistance and training may be allowed under the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB).”
“Direct military actions may only be allowed during actual invasion of the Philippines by another state actor,” he said.
Ano said he expressed appreciation on the reported plan of United States to help the Philippines fight against the terrorist group but he also noted that the matter “has to undergo a process.”
“We appreciate Pentagon's reported desire to help the Philippines in the fight against Daesh-inspired Maute Group because terrorism is a global menace that the community of nations must unite to fight against,” he said.
“However, such proposition if any, has to undergo a process. And a covenant must be had between the Commanders-in-Chief of both nations before that option may be adopted,” Ano added. Robina Asido/DMS