A day after getting the Pinoy cold shoulder for refusing to categorically commit the US military in the event China attacks Philippine forces in the West Philippine Sea, US President Barack Obama did a tumbling act to eat back his words and reverse his limp-wristed stand made during a press conference in Malacanang on April 21.
“Our commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad and the United States will keep that commitment because allies never stand alone,” Obama said on April 22 in a speech before U.S. and Filipino soldiers, veterans and their families, at a jam-packed Fort Bonifacio gymnasium.
“Deepening our alliance is part of our broader vision for the Asia Pacific,” Obama said in the last day of his two-day Philippine visit.
Obama vowed solidarity with the Philippines over disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea which is claimed by China.
“International law must be upheld. Freedom of navigation must be preserved,” Obama said.
China claims most of the South China Sea, but the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims to parts of those waters.