MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines and the United States kicked off joint military exercises today. But Philippine officials were quick to say the games are not in response to the tensions at the Scarborough Shoal.
Now on its 28th year, the war games will have command post exercises for disaster preparedness and humanitarian civic assistance projects.
Field and survival training will be conducted in Nueva Ecija and Pampanga.
More than 4,000 American troops and 2,000 Filipino soldiers are taking part in the joint exercises.
Major Emmanuel Garcia, spokesperson for Balikatan 2012, said the civil-military operations of the games are expected to benefit about 22,000 residents of Palawan.
ANC Dateline Philippines, April 16, 2012