The Philippine armed forces chief says five military exercises with the United States, including at least two major naval drills, will be scrapped next year at the direction of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Gen. Ricardo Visaya told reporters Wednesday that U.S. officials respected the Philippines’ proposal to reduce the number of drills to 258, or five less than this year’s exercises.
On Tuesday, the two allies held a meeting of their Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board co-chaired by Visaya and Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., head of the U.S. Pacific Command.
Visaya said the scrapped drills include an Amphibious Landing Exercise and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, both major naval exercises that include territorial defense training.
He said exercises will be focused on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and counterterrorism.