US, Philippine marines cut short joint military exercises

Manila, Oct 10 (IANS) The US and Philippine marines have decided to cut short joint military exercises one day ahead of schedule, a spokesman for the Philippine marines said on Monday.

The closing ceremony would be held at the Philippine marine headquarters in Manila on Tuesday, said the spokesman, Xinhua news agency reported.

The drills, which started on October 4, were conducted in several areas in the Philippine Luzon island and Palawan province.

“All major events have already been conducted… all the major exercises have been accomplished already so we have decided to move to the closing ceremony,” he said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier said that he wants to terminate military exercises with the US during his term and prohibit the Philippine military from joining in joint patrols in the South China Sea.

The US and Philippines conduct three major joint exercises and 28 minor cross-training exercises every year.

–IANS

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