Watch: Duterte tells US incoming war games will be last joint military exercise with PH

Image from Presidential Communications Office's Facebook account
  • President told Americans incoming war games with PH will be their last joint exercise
  • He said he will end joint drills because it’s something “China does not want”
  • Yasay clarified, said Duterte meant PH will not join any int’l patrols outside its territorial sea

MANILA, Philippines – Will this really be the last?

In his speech before the Filipino community in Vietnam, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the incoming war games the country will hold with the US will be the last between the two long-time allies.

While maintaining that he will respect the agreements between the Philippines and the US, Duterte said he will open new relations with other countries for trade and commerce.

“So I’m serving notice now to the Americans, I will maintain the military alliance, the RP-US pact which our counties signed in the early 50s. But I will establish new alliances for trade and commerce,” UNTV News quoted him as saying.

The president also said he wants the war games to end because it’s something China does not want.

“And you 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,” he said.

The Philippines and the US are scheduled to hold an amphibious landing exercise in the country from October 4 to 12 in Luzon and Palawan.

Yasay: Duterte Meant No Joint Patrols

Scrambling to clarify Duterte’s remarks, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay explained that the president just wants the Philippines to stay out of any joint patrols beyond the country’s 12-nautical mile territorial limit to avoid instigating China.

“We are not going to undertake any joint patrol ever in our exclusive economic zone which is outside of the 12-mile territorial limit in a joint patrol with a grey ship of another country,” he told GMA News.