• PH-US war games begin

    AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISES Philipppine Marines commandant Maj. Gen. Andre Costales Jr. (left) delivers his remarks during the opening rites for joint amphibious exercises between Filipino and US marines at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. Behind him is Brig. Gen. John Jansen of the US Marines’ 3rd Expeditionary Brigade. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISES Philipppine Marines commandant Maj. Gen. Andre Costales Jr. (left) delivers his remarks during the opening rites for joint amphibious exercises between Filipino and US marines at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. Behind him is Brig. Gen. John Jansen of the US Marines’ 3rd Expeditionary Brigade. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

    AS President Rodrigo Duterte and his leftist allies continue their tirades against the US, the Philippines and United States opened on Tuesday what could be their last joint military exercises.

    Maj. Gen. Andre Costales Jr., head of the Philippine Marines, and Brig. Gen. John Jansen of the US Marines’ 3rd Expeditionary Brigade, led the opening of the 33rd iteration of the Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex 33), with both officials underscoring the importance of interoperability.

    The President has downplayed the significance of joint military exercises, claiming no technology transfer was happening.

    Duterte has warned the war games would be the last in his six-year term, and threatened to scrap the Philippines-US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement implemented by his predecessor, meant to see more US troops in the Philippines to counter Chinese expansion in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    In his speech at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, Costales called for a “culture of jointness,” saying it “gives us the assurance of interoperability among Marine units with different flags, diverging motivations, and proud roots.”

    “We must now seek to expand our initiatives with other willing partners who share with us our vision of commitment, cooperation and capability to protect and preserve our cherished freedoms – freedom of action, freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce,” he added.

    Jansen said he expected the exercises to continue in the future. “I am confident that we will continue to build our partnership and capabilities together,” he said in his speech.

    The Philippine Marines commander noted that for more than three decades, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US Armed Forces, strong allies in the Asia-Pacific region, have built capabilities covering a wide range of operations such as command post exercises, field training exercises, and humanitarian and civic assistance.

    Field training covers capacity not only for territorial defense but also humanitarian assistance and disaster response and anti-terrorism and internal security operations, he said.

    “Every year, it has been our aim to enhance knowledge, skills, and strategy for interoperability, taking off from our shared victories in the previous years’ exercises,” Costales said.

    US marines and sailors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group will participate in the exercises until October 12 to help improve interoperability of the two militaries’ amphibious vessels.

    Phiblex specifically aims to integrate the use of the strategic sealift vessel, BRP Tarlac, and other “non-traditional platforms” such as landing craft heavies acquired from Australia and small craft from the US, Costales said.

    At least 500 Filipino soldiers and 1,400 US service members based in Okinawa, Japan will join in the exercises at multiple locations in Luzon and Palawan, which is close to the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters close to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, and has in recent years built artificial islands in the disputed areas, capable of hosting military bases.

    To counter China, former President Benigno Aquino 3rd sought to draw the United States closer, signing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that Duterte now wants to scrap.

    Duterte appears intent on adopting the opposite tactic, saying recently he hopes to travel to China and meet with President Xi Jinping.

    The Communist Party of the Philippines, which is negotiating a peace deal with Duterte, has expressed support for the President’s declaration to end joint military exercises with the US.



    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. Yonkers,New York
      05 Octrber 2016

      Little Tyrant Rodrigo Duterte not only is President, he is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

      So,as he has clearly announced to the whole world earlier, those October JOINT US-RP MILITARY EXERCISES, the 33rd, are the LAST. “Last” meaning there are no more after those, ever.

      President Duterte has made it clear through his denunciation of what US forces did in terms of atrocities in the Philippine-American War of 1896-1898, and his savaging of US President Barack Obama, cursing him as a “Putang ina mo!” [“Son of a whore!”], his formal declaration that henceforth he will be buying weapons from COMMUNIST China and Russia, that he wants US forces now in Mindanao to get out of there pronto, that he will abrogate EDCA, prove conclusively that he is completely through with the United States of America, and that he is now bringing the Philippines within the embrace of China and Russia–of course as another COMMUNIST state.

      Recall that MAO ZEDONG and JOSEF STALIN, in their respective genocidal orgies, mass-murdered MILLIONS of their countrymen. Little Tyrant Rodrigo’s stated goal of mass-murdering 3 million Filipinos is “peanuts”–but he is only a Little Tyrant compared to Goliath Tyrants Mao Zedong and Josef Stalin.


    2. Did the Duterte rabid fanatics even know they had voted for a communist? Nevertheless, the US is not just going to back down and turn their backs (Syria notwithstanding) on the majority of Filipinos who love the US and rely on a fruitful long term relationship with Uncle Sam. The Chinese may be high-fiving with glee at the moment, but I foresee a future of great uncertainty and maybe a change in leadership not by election.

    3. When did the Philippine government become an ally of the Communist Terrorist? The democratically elected government should not ally themselves with these commies since their primary objective is to overthrow our democracy and replace it with their Maoist Leninist brand of government. Its better to deal with the devil we know than sheep in wolves clothing. Look what happened to Columbia, the people voted for justice and not peace with the FARC. These Bolsheviks allied with the President should be purged like the drug pushers of this country. Heil DO30!

    4. mabait na pinoy on

      Our HERO, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte have stepped on his small dick once again, by bragging about scrapping EDCA. However, he failed to read the document before he opened his mouth and that should have prevented him from looking like a fool, in the eyes of many fairly educated and intelligent Filipinos and most importantly, to the civilized International Community. Hinay hinay ka muna about EDCA, idol!

    5. eliseo blancaflor on

      With our presidents performance there . weis no doubt a political messiah is with us. He knows our political and social problems and applying the correct solutions many us cannot fathom. We can pro claim now MABUHAy NAnG FILIPINAS!!!