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Philippine Presidential Legal Counsel Calls for Lifting Ban on Nuclear Weapons in Country

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Philippine Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday suggested that the country’s constitutional ban on nuclear weapons should be amended or revised to boost the country’s security capabilities.

“In my personal opinion, that is the most serious and unwanted provision of the constitution. In the modern world today, a small country can protect itself against the superpowers if they have nuclear weapons. We should remove that restriction and make the country flexible,” Enrile was quoted as saying by Philippine newspaper Inquirer.

The announcement was made during a meeting with the Senate panels on constitutional amendments and revision of codes. Enrile specified that the ban on nuclear weapons was introduced by the administration of former President Corazon Aquino, who came to power in the 1986 People Power Revolution.

The official noted that the country “should have nuclear weapons, so our people will not be trampled upon.”

The Philippines law proscribes the production and use of nuclear weapons on the territory of the country. The Philippines is also a signatory to the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In addition, the country signed the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, or the Bangkok Treaty in 1995, along with Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Bangkok Treaty obliges its members not to develop, manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over nuclear weapons.

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