U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
November 16, 2011
The Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America today commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Philippines-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. On this historic occasion, we reflect on the rich history of our alliance and the continuing relevance of the treaty for peace, security, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. We also reaffirm the treaty as the foundation of our relationship for the next 60 years and beyond.
The United States and the Philippines are bound by a deep and abiding friendship forged by a history of shared sacrifice and common purpose. The many Filipinos who bravely served side-by-side with American servicemen and women during World War II and the veterans of our two nations buried at the Manila American Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio bear testament to our profound and enduring bonds. These bonds are enriched by the presence in the US of over four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans, and in the Philippines by over 150,000 Americans, who help shape the political and economic future of both countries.
The Republic of the Philippines and the United States today reaffirm our shared obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty. We expect to maintain a robust, balanced, and responsive security partnership including cooperating to enhance the defense, interdiction, and apprehension capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
We are determined to continue our bilateral cooperation in addressing broader regional and global challenges, including maritime security and threats to security such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and transnational crime. We are committed to continuing our close and effective cooperation to counter al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups in the southern Philippines.
We share a common interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and transit of people across the seas and subscribe to a rules-based approach in resolving competing claims in maritime areas through peaceful, collaborative, multilateral, and diplomatic processes within the framework of international law.
We are committed to advancing our nations’ mutual security interests through continuing a high-level strategic dialogue. We also support increasing regional cooperation in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM+), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
The Republic of the Philippines and the United States are long-standing economic partners that share a commitment to free trade, economic opportunity, and poverty reduction. We recognize the urgent need as expressed in the Partnership for Growth Statement of Principles to reduce poverty by creating inclusive, sustainable economic growth in the Philippines. We jointly endeavor to contribute to our peoples’ mutual prosperity and benefit by continuing our engagement in the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and promoting bilateral initiatives that will support job creation efforts in both countries.
As leading members of the Open Government Partnership, our nations support a set of common principles guiding the relationship between governments and their citizenry. We reaffirm the principles of the Open Government Declaration and intend to continue the promotion of greater government transparency and the rule of law. We are continuing to cooperate in countering the scourge of human trafficking. We reaffirm our commitment to the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention against Corruption, and other applicable international instruments related to human rights and good governance.
Sixty years on, the Philippines-United States alliance has never been stronger and will continue to expand in the 21st century as our two countries chart a new direction for our critical partnership, in the defense realm and beyond. Our common values, commitment to democracy and the rule of law, robust economic relationship, and strong people-to-people ties will continue to ensure that our partnership remains strong and vibrant well into the future. With an enduring history of shared sacrifice and common purpose, the people and governments of our two countries will act together to build a better and more prosperous world for future generations.