US commitment to defend Philippines is ironclad: Obama

US President Barack Obama (right) speaks following a tour of the BRP Gregario Del Pilar in Manila Harbor in Manila on Nov 17, 2015.
US President Barack Obama (right) speaks following a tour of the BRP Gregario Del Pilar in Manila Harbor in Manila on Nov 17, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday (Nov 17) pledged his nation's "ironclad" commitment to defend longtime ally the Philippines, which is locked in a bitter territorial row with China.

"The United States has been committed to the security of this region for more than 70 years, we have a treaty obligation, an ironclad commitment, to the defence of our ally the Philippines, who can count on the United States," Obama said as he toured the Philippine Navy's flagship vessel in Manila.