DND to seek further guidelines, clarification on Duterte statement on PHL-US joint military training

MANILA — The Department of National Defense (DND) will seek further clarification and guidance from President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on the scheduled Filipino and American military exercises this October, according to DND public affairs office chief Arsenio Andoling.

“Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana will discuss this with the President to seek more clarification and guidance,” Andoling said in a statement Thursday.

Andolong also stressed that the DND and Armed Forces of the Philippines would await further orders from the Chief Executive regarding exercises with US forces.

“As stated earlier, all agreements and treaties with the US are still in effect. As to succeeding exercises, we will have to sit down with our US counterparts to discuss them,” he added.

Before leaving for an official visit to Vietnam last Wednesday, Duterte said the Oct. 4 to 12 Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercises (PHIBLEX), which will take place in various locations in Luzon and Palawan, would be the country’s last with the US.

Approximately 1,400 US service members based in Okinawa, Japan and 500 Filipino personnel are scheduled to train together in the 33rd iteration of PHIBLEX. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com