Philippines curbs drills with United States forces
Philippine defence officials said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the continuation of joint military exercises with US forces, but the number of drills will be reduced and will exclude mock assaults. Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday that Duterte also allowed the government to proceed with a 2014 agreement with Washington permitting US forces to be stationed temporarily at five designated Philippine military camps, along with their warships and planes. Duterte had previously threatened to end military exercises with the US. Lorenzana said he and other security officials explained to the president at a Cabinet meeting on Monday how the Philippines benefits from the annual manoeuvres. Defence Department public affairs chief Arsenio Andolong said the changes will be discussed with US military officials at a November 22 meeting.
BRIEFED: Rodrigo Duterte