Duterte says farewell to US troops in the Philippines

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us-navy-philippinesPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on September 28 that the early October joint military exercise between the Philippines and the US would be the last one, at least under his administration. He also gave notice to the joint navy patrol of the two armies in the South China Sea.

The reason, Duterte said openly, is that he wants to establish new trade and commercial alliances with China and Russia, and the war games were something particularly Beijing does not want. Duterte also said he was considering acquiring military equipment from Russia and China.

Speaking to the Filipino community in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, where he was on a state visit, he said, “You [the US] are scheduled to hold war games, which China does not want. I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise jointly held with the Philippines.”

The military exercise, which involves about 500 Filipino troops and 1,400 US troops, are scheduled to occur between October 4 and 12. These are the first such war games taking place after Duterte came to power earlier this year.

He, however, said that he will maintain the military alliance between the two countries as per a pact signed in the early 1950s. It was not immediately clear what will happen to the annual military exercises in April each year that involve more US troops.

The US State Department reacted by saying it will “continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines,” adding that the two countries would continue to “work together in the many areas of mutual interest, including counter terrorism, to improve the livelihoods of the Philippine people and uphold our shared democratic values.”

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on September 28 that the early October joint military exercise between the Philippines and the US would be the last one, at least under his administration. He also gave notice to the joint navy patrol of the two armies in the South China Sea.

Reading Time: 1 minute

us-navy-philippinesPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on September 28 that the early October joint military exercise between the Philippines and the US would be the last one, at least under his administration. He also gave notice to the joint navy patrol of the two armies in the South China Sea.

The reason, Duterte said openly, is that he wants to establish new trade and commercial alliances with China and Russia, and the war games were something particularly Beijing does not want. Duterte also said he was considering acquiring military equipment from Russia and China.

Speaking to the Filipino community in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, where he was on a state visit, he said, “You [the US] are scheduled to hold war games, which China does not want. I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise jointly held with the Philippines.”

The military exercise, which involves about 500 Filipino troops and 1,400 US troops, are scheduled to occur between October 4 and 12. These are the first such war games taking place after Duterte came to power earlier this year.

He, however, said that he will maintain the military alliance between the two countries as per a pact signed in the early 1950s. It was not immediately clear what will happen to the annual military exercises in April each year that involve more US troops.

The US State Department reacted by saying it will “continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines,” adding that the two countries would continue to “work together in the many areas of mutual interest, including counter terrorism, to improve the livelihoods of the Philippine people and uphold our shared democratic values.”

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