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Duterte: No more military exercises next year

By Jelly F. Musico

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 6, 2016) Members of international media observe flight operations during a tour aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as part of Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (PHIBLEX). PHIBLEX 33 is an annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral exercise that combines amphibious landing and live-fire training with humanitarian civic assistance efforts to strengthen interoperability and working relationships. Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. The annual exercise could’ve seen its last holding in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte wants to discontinue the event during the rest of his term. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeanette Mullinax/Released)

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Oct. 6, 2016) Members of international media observe flight operations during a tour aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as part of Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (PHIBLEX). PHIBLEX 33 is an annual U.S.-Philippine military bilateral exercise that combines amphibious landing and live-fire training with humanitarian civic assistance efforts to strengthen interoperability and working relationships. Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. The annual exercise could’ve seen its last holding in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte wants to discontinue the event during the rest of his term. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeanette Mullinax/Released)

MANILA  (PNA) – President Rodrigo Duterte insisted on Wednesday that there will be no more military exercises between the Philippines and the United States next year.

President Duterte made this statement during the 115th Anniversary of the Philippine Coast Guard in its headquarters in Port Area in Manila.

”There will be no more exercises next year. I told Defense Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana, do not make preparations for next year. I do not want it anymore. I will chart an independent foreign policy,” Duterte said.

President Duterte, however, clarified that the Philippines will not break its alliance with the United States.

”We need not really, you know, break or abrogate existing treaties because they say that it could provide us with the umbrella,” President Duterte said.

,”I ask you frankly, give me your answer from your rank. We will maintain our military alliance because I said, they say, that we need it for our defense,” he added.

President Duterte had previously said the US-PHL military exercise this month will be the last.

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