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11月9日のまにら新聞から

English Articles

Philippines to inform US on decision to reduce war games

[ 477 words|2016.11.9|英字 ]

The Philippines will inform the United States on its decision to reduce their joint military exercises during the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board meeting this month.

“Yes, that will definitely be part of the agenda because it has to be discussed between both parties, the US and the Philippines , and that will be tackled in the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board,” defense department spokesman Arsenio Andolong said Tuesday.

Andolong said based on the recommendation of the defense department,. the total of 13 exercises between the two countries will be trimmed down to half.

“There is no specific number, around six or seven or probably less or more, but definitely less than 10,” he said.

Andolong said more training drills with American forces were terminated during the previous administration.

“We had before the Aquino administration… about 28 exercises every year. When Balikatan began, they reduced it to13 in one year, so now with the new administration it will come down to about half of that,” he said.

Andolong said the meeting that will be attended by representatives from US and Philippines is tentatively set on November 22.

The meeting will lay down the program of annual military exercises between the two countries.

Andolong said the Philippines does not need to seek for the approval of the United States on the matter, only their “concurrence”.

“We will have to tell them that that is not the direction that we want to take because the president has already specified what he want and I think that he was very vocal about that. I think they will, if they want to be treated as allies, they should listen to what our needs are and what they also require,” Andolong said.

On Monday Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte approved his recommendation to reduce the number of joint military exercises with the United States .

Lorenzana said Duterte has approved his recommendation continue the Balikatan exercise and other training. But Duterte decided to stop other major exercises like the Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training (CARAT) and the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise with the US forces.

Lorenzana said the Enhanced Defense Cooperation will be implemented. .

Andolong said the areas where the EDCA will be implemented may also be tackle during the meeting.

“The MDB-SEB will include the finalization of the areas where the EDCA will be implemented,” he said.

Andolong explained there are some territorial defense exercises that will be done.

“There are some that will remain territorial (defense exercise), but it is not the assault type exercises so it’s more on non-traditional… like counter terrorism, it still have the components of territorial (defense), but not the traditional sense of territorial defense. We are going to move away from that because the direction is that we should be able to do that ourselves,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS