MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday clarified his earlier statement that the upcoming joint military exercises between U.S. and Filipino troops will be the last.
In a press conference in Davao City following his arrival from a working visit from Vietnam, Duterte said the war games between the U.S. and the Philippines will end in his term.
"Yes, in my term. I do not know if that treaty would take some form. In my term, yes," Duterte said when asked if he wants to terminate the joint military exercises between U.S. and Filipino military troops.
"I would not be using my entitlement as commander-in-chief. I will simply say it is foreign policy," he added.
The annual Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) will be held from October 4 to 12 in multiple locations in Luzon, including Palawan, which fronts reefs and outcrops that are being contested by Manila and Beijing, according to an embassy statement.
Duterte lamented the apparent lack of technology transfer between the supposed military exercise partners.
"They ask for a joint maneuvers, operations, and yet there is no capability between the weapons and the armaments they use, and even the communications," Duterte said.
He said U.S. troops "do not share" technology with their Filipino counterparts.
Duterte also reacted to recent statements made by U.S. senators critical of the alleged extrajudicial killings in his campaign against illegal drugs.
"Do not interfere in our affairs. I will ask him now. Why are you shooting the black people there when they are on the ground?"
“Stop this hypocrisy game and we are all right. Stop being hypocrites. Do not pretend to be the moral conscience of the world. Do not be the policeman because you do not have the eligibility to do that in my country,” Duterte added.