Duterte says upcoming Philippine-US joint war games will be last

Duterte says upcoming Philippine-US joint war games will be last

Manila, Sep 29 (IANS) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that the joint war games between the United States and the Philippine marines in October will be the last.

“So I am serving notice now to the Americans. I will maintain the military alliance, the PH-US pact which our countries signed in the early 50s. But I will establish new alliances for trade and commerce. I will serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” Xinhua news agency quoted Duterte as saying in a speech before the Filipino community in Hanoi, Vietnam where he is on an overnight working visit.

Starting Tuesday next week, about 1,400 US marines, sailors based in Okinawa, Japan will take part in the Amphibious Landing Exercise with about 500 Philippine troops on multiple locations in the Philippine main Luzon island and Palawan, the province facing the South China Sea.

Duterte said on Monday that he would open up all avenues of trade and commerce for China and Russia, adding that he is about to “cross the Rubicon between me and the United States”.

“I am about to cross the Rubicon with the US It is a point of no return,” he said in a speech during an oath-taking event at the Malacanang presidential palace.

On Tuesday, Duterte accused the United States of “undermining” the Philippines currency, causing the Philippine peso to tumble against the US dollar.

“The Americans are undermining us now. They are manipulating.. the peso weakened,” Duterte said in a speech at the Philippine marine headquarters in Taguig.

The Philippine peso hit a seven-year low on Monday, closing at 48.25 to a dollar, the weakest since the close of 48.335 on September 15, 2009.

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