The Philippines might have signed a mutual defense treaty with the United States in 1951, but it doesn’t automatically mean that Washington will come to the rescue when there’s an attack on Philippine shores.
In an interview with reporters in Malacañang Monday (Sept. 26), Duterte revealed the complication in the two countries’ agreement: the US needs its Congress’ approval before going to war for an ally.
“[T]here is a RP-US Pact that was in the ‘50s. It says that an attack on the Philippines would be an attack of the United States. But in the United States Constitution, it says that before a President can declare war, with anybody in defense of an ally, he has to Congress for permission to go to war,” he said.
“That’s the problem. So if Congress will not give him that authority, what will happen to us? America is, I said, it does not know what the left hand is—the right hand is doing,” Duterte added.
The President has hinted that he is “about to cross a Rubicon” with regard to the Philippines’ relationship with the US, while at the same time expressing openness to forging stronger alliances with China and Russia.
Duterte said he will open up the Philippines to the two countries for trade and commerce. [source]