US-Philippine combat drills announced under critical Duterte
Posted 9:52 a.m. Thursday
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine military officials have announced the first large-scale combat exercises between U.S. and Filipino forces under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been critical of American security policies.
Military officials said Thursday the annual maneuvers by about 1,400 U.S. military personnel and 500 Philippine marines will involve amphibious landing and live-fire exercises at a northern gunnery range from Oct. 4 to 12.
Describing himself as a socialist, Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S. He repeated in a speech Thursday that he would not allow Filipino forces to conduct joint patrols with the U.S. military in the disputed South China Sea because that could spark an armed conflict in Philippine territory. He has also said he wants U.S. forces out of the country's south.