Duterte: October’s war games with US would be last under my term

Image from Presidential Communications Office
  • President Rodrigo Duterte confirms that there would no longer be US-PH war games under his term
  • He said the country’s military does not benefit from it
  • Foreign Affairs Secretary perfecto Yasay again denied Duterte’s statements

President Rodrigo Duterte finally confirmed that there would no longer be joint military exercises between the United States and the Philippines – at least under his term.

“I don’t know if that treaty would take some form. But in my term, yes. I would not be using my entitlements as commander-in-chief. I would simply say that that is the foreign policy,” GMA News Online quoted Duterte as saying in an early morning news conference after his trip to Vietnam.

The President pressed that he does not see any benefits for the country’s army to remain in the exercises.

“No capability. It’s all soiled clothes. They do not share,” he said.

“[The military] asked for a joint maneuvers, operations and yet there is no capability between the weapons and armaments they use and even in the communications.”

He also bared that the FA-50 lead-in fighter jets acquired by the last administration are also white elephants because the US would not allow Philippines to purchase missiles.

“May eroplano tayo but [they] don’t allow us to buy the missiles. What will be the point?”

But despite Duterte’s confirmation, foreign affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay denied for the second time the President’s announcement.

“Again, my suggestion would be, contextually, we should also understand that even as you claim that the President said that,” Politiko quoted Yasay.

“As I told you last night, I did not hear him say that really ‘no,” he pressed; noting that he may be “too sleepy” to hear Duterte’s words because of his “jetlag”.