Duterte to scrap joint military exercises between Philippines, US

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to scrap joint military training exercises with the US.

In a speech to Filipinos in Hanoi late Wednesday, Duterte said a nine-day training exercise between American and Filipino troops scheduled to start October 4 in the Philippines would be the last.

“I would serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” he said in Hanoi, where he was on a two-day visit. “Jointly, Philippines-US, the last one.”

Despite planning to end the joint training exercises, Duterte said he would "maintain the military alliance [with the US] because there is a pact which our countries signed in the early 50s.”

Relations between the Philippines and the US have increasingly come under strain since Washington criticized Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, which has left at least 1,247 people dead.

Duterte has hit back at the US, even threatening to curse at President Barack Obama if he brought up the issue of human rights violations at a regional summit in Laos earlier in the month.

He has vowed to build “alliances for trade and commerce” with other countries such as China and Russia instead of relying on the country’s relations with the US.

Last update: Thu, 29/09/2016 - 10:26

More from World

Obama: "I think we're going to be OK"

US President Barack Obama reflected Wednesday on eight years in office and expressed optimism for the future of the...

Obama: Journalists should show "tenacity" with next administration

US President Barack Obama thanks and praises reporters for the way that they covered his eight-year tenure, saying...

Troops amass near Gambia border to pressure president to step down

Senegalese troops amassed at the border with Gambia as the clock ticked down on Gambian President Yahya Jammeh's...

Trump says he doesn't like tweeting, then tweets some more

More than 20 million people follow Donald Trump's Twitter account, but the US president-elect seems to consider...

Colombia reaches deal to begin peace talks with ELN rebels

Colombia and the ELN (National Liberation Army) rebel group have reached an agreement to begin peace negotiations,...