But senior defense officials later appeared philosophical about Duterte’s outbursts.The US-Philippine alliance has “had its ups and downs and survived,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
Returning to his home city of Davao early on Friday, Duterte repeated the statements despite efforts by key aides to downplay them. I would simply say that that is the foreign policy,” he added.
It claimed the war games had “long violated Philippine sovereignty” and served as an “insult” on national dignity.
‘US military flexible’ – source Ending war games could further dampen relations between Manila and Washington after the firebrand Duterte, who has also called for US special operations forces in the country’s south to leave, used expletives against US President Barack Obama and extended overtures to China.
“As it has been for decades, our alliance with the Philippines is ironclad,” Carter said, addressing troops aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, docked in San Diego.
Duterte on Wednesday said he would soon end joint military exercises with the United States, a symbolic blow to a military alliance dating back more than 60 years.
SAN DIEGO, United States: US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Thursday (Friday in Manila) said Washington’s alliance with the Philippines remains “ironclad” even though President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to end joint military exercises to appease China.
The Pentagon chief’s remarks came as he headed for a security summit in Hawaii, where concerns about Duterte, China’s continued military expansion in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), and the return of Islamic State group jihadists to the region were high on the agenda.
The statements were hailed by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which had agreed to restart peace talks with the Duterte-led government.
“Indeed, amidst efforts of the Duterte regime to promote an independent foreign policy, such war maneuver exercises by US troops are completely anachronistic and should be put to a permanent end,” the CPP said.