- Title: Upcoming Philippine-U.S. military exercise will be the last - Duterte
- Date: 28th September 2016
- Summary: HANOI, VIETNAM (SEPTEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PHILIPPINES AND VIETNAM NATIONAL FLAGS FLYING VARIOUS OF PLANE TAXIING ON RUNWAY SOLDIERS AND WELCOMING PARTY MOVING TOWARDS PLANE PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE WALKING OUT OF PLANE DOOR, WAVING AND WALKING DOWN STEPS DUTERTE GETTING INTO CAR VARIOUS OF MOTORCADE LEAVING BILLBOARD READING (ENGLISH) "WELCOME PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE - FILIPINO COMMUNITY MEETING" PHILIPPINES NATIONAL FLAG STANDING BY WALL DUTERTE WALKING INTO ROOM, BOWING TO CROWD VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE CHEERING AND WAVING FLAGS VARIOUS OF DUTERTE AND OTHER OFFICIALS ON STAGE SOUNDBITE (English) PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT, RODRIGO DUTERTE, SAYING: "So I am serving notice now to the Americans and to those around. I will maintain the military alliance because there is the R.P-U.S. pact which our countries signed in the early 50s, but I will establish new alliances for trade and commerce. And you are scheduled to hold war games again, which China does not want. I would serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise. Jointly, Philippines, U.S, the last one." AUDIENCE FILMING ON SMARTPHONES SOUNDBITE (English) PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT, RODRIGO DUTERTE, SAYING: "I will not join in the patrol in the China Sea. Grey ships are the battle ships and white is the coast guard. The warships we call it the grey ships. There will never be an occasion that I will send the grey ships there, not because I am afraid, not because "takot ako" (eds note: Filipino for "I am afraid"). Anyway I have this ruling of the international arbitration court which is that the South China Sea, the entitlements there are ours" AUDIENCE CHEERING AND WAVING FLAGS SOUNDBITE (English) PHILIPPINES PRESIDENT, RODRIGO DUTERTE, SAYING: "Our conflict with China is not really, it's more of an imaginary thing. (DUTERTE SWITCHES TO FILIPINO: "What I mean is") We cannot go to war just because there is that award." VARIOUS OF DUTERTE AND OFFICIALS STANDING ON STAGE DUTERTE AND OFFICIALS STANDING ON STAGE / CROWD CHEERING
- Embargoed: 13th October 2016 18:16
- Keywords: Rodrigo Duterte Philippines Vietnam Hanoi visit military exercise United States
- Location: HANOI, VIETNAM
- City: HANOI, VIETNAM
- Country: Vietnam
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00151HB58N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday (September 28) that an upcoming military joint exercise with the United States would be the last between the two allies, but pledged to honour their long-standing security treaty.
The firebrand leader has strained ties with Washington in recent weeks, calling for the pullout of U.S. special forces stationed in the Philippines' restive south that he said were complicating counter-insurgency operations.
"I am serving notice now to the Americans, this will be the last military exercise," Duterte told a gather of the Filipino community in Hanoi, referring to next month's joint marine exercise with the Philippines' former colonial master.
Duterte added that there would be no chance of joint naval patrols with Washington and that the notion that there was conflict between the Philippines and China was "more imaginary."
The comments by Duterte, a former southern mayor known for his terse words and volatile temperament, add to uncertainty about what impact his rise to the presidency this year will have on one of Washington's most important alliances in Asia.
The Philippine military and U.S. Marines are due to hold annual amphibious landing exercises from Oct. 4 to 12 in the north of the Philippines main island Luzon.
Military leaders from the two countries have also started preparing for a new set of exercises next year.
Duterte said the Philippines would not join any patrols in the South China Sea to avoid getting dragged into a possible conflict between the United States and China, but would continue to honour their 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty.
This week, Duterte said he will open new alliances with China and Russia to increase trade and commerce as defence and foreign ministry officials have started exploring weapons deal with Moscow.
Duterte is hugely popular at home for his brash remarks and take-charge style, but his frequent tirades against Washington, including calling both President Barack Obama and his ambassador to Manila a "son of a bitch", have tested a relationship of strategic importance to both sides.
The Philippines and the United States share concerns about China's pursuit of broad claims in the South China Sea, which overlap with those of Manila and other neighbours.
Washington and Manila agreed on joint patrols in the South China Sea before Duterte's election win this year, and a Pentagon spokesman said earlier this month three had been conducted from March until July.
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