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Saturday, December 16, 2017 24° Mostly cloudy

PH hails US as top ally, welcomes war games

Updated

By Agence France-Presse

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año hailed the United States as his nation’s “number one ally” and announced a return of regular war games, following President Duterte’s call for warmer ties.

Duterte last week vowed to be “friendly” with the United States, signalling an end to relentless criticism that included a vow to end all joint military exercises and branding then US president Barack Obama a “son of a whore.”

RIFLE DONATION – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Shown from left, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año inspect some of the assault rifles that were donated by China to the Philippine military during the turnover ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo Thursday. The Chinese government gave 3,000 M4 rifles, three million rounds of assorted ammunition and 30 sniper scopes. (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin)

RIFLE DONATION – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Shown from left, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año inspect some of the assault rifles that were donated by China to the Philippine military during the turnover ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo Thursday. The Chinese government gave 3,000 M4 rifles, three million rounds of assorted ammunition and 30 sniper scopes. (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin)

Año, returning from Hawaii where he met US Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris last week, said Thursday the allies had agreed to increase joint military exercises for 2018 after they were scaled down this year.

“The President said: ‘I want to be friendlier to the US.’ So we have a closer relationship and more exercises,” Año told reporters in Manila.

“He (Duterte) said to continue engagement with the United States. They are still our number one ally.”

Año said the joint exercises next year would focus on counter-terrorism, disaster response and even territorial defence.

As he sought to loosen his nation’s alliance with the United States, Duterte also looked to build warmer relations with China and Russia.

During a visit to Beijing a year ago he announced his nation’s “separation” from the United States.

He later explained he was angry at Obama for criticizing his war on drugs, which has since seen thousands killed and led rights groups to warn Duterte may be orchestrating a crime against humanity.

Duterte said last week the dispute was “water under the bridge” as he thanked the United States for helping the Philippines fight Islamic militants who have occupied parts of the southern city of Marawi since May 23.

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Comments (1)

  • Avatar

    cupofjoe

    |

    Nagbago ang ihip ng hangin. Iba na
    naman ang timpla ni Pdut. Iba na naman ang kanyang kanta. Tunay na
    kaya ito at hanggang kailan magtatagal?

    Reply

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