News / Asia

Philippine, US Military Exercises Begin

U.S. Marine Brigadier General Richard Simcock (R) shakes hands with Philippines Armed Forces Major General Virgilio Domingo after the opening ceremony of annual Philippines-U.S. military exercise in Manila, April 5, 2013.
U.S. Marine Brigadier General Richard Simcock (R) shakes hands with Philippines Armed Forces Major General Virgilio Domingo after the opening ceremony of annual Philippines-U.S. military exercise in Manila, April 5, 2013.
Simone Orendain
The United States and the Philippines began an annual joint military exercise Friday, involving some 8,000 troops training for disaster relief operations. The drills come at a time of high tension on the Korean peninsula and continuing maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
 
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario says the United States and the Philippines continue to strengthen their ties under a mutual defense treaty.  
 
Fresh from a trip to Washington to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, del Rosario gave the keynote message Friday during opening ceremonies for the 12-day joint exercises aimed at humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.

“These key officials have pledged to work with us to build our own capacity to defend ourselves.  And defend ourselves, we will,” del Rosario said.
 
Del Rosario said the exercises called “Balikatan” or “Shoulder to Shoulder” come at a crucial time for the Philippines and the region.  He says what he calls “excessive and exaggerated claims” by China of having “indisputable sovereignty” over practically the entire South China Sea have placed regional peace and stability “at serious risk.”
 
The Philippines and China are locked in a diplomatic fight over claims in the South China Sea.  The Philippines is taking the matter to international arbitration - without China’s participation.  Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have partial or entire claims to the sea.
 
Secretary Kerry said this week that the U.S. supports the Philippines’ arbitration bid and that the disputes have to be resolved with the rule of law.  He also described the Philippines as one of the U.S.’ five allies in Asia.
 
With North Korea’s repeated threats of missile attacks against the United States, Del Rosario later told reporters the Philippines is concerned with Pyongyang's actions.
 
“I think as treaty allies if there is an attack, we should help one another, which is what the alliance is all about,” he said.
 
In recent years, U.S. military missions in the Pacific have increased refueling and maintenance visits to the Philippines.
 
Military officials from both countries say the Balikatan exercises this year are heavily focused on humanitarian and disaster management.  This year’s drills include 12 [American] F-18 fighter jets, among the 30 aircraft taking part in exercises in Central Luzon, located in the northern region of the Philippine archipelago.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jack williams from: michigan
April 26, 2013 4:53 PM
volcano Pinatubo did move the US troops out!!! GREED and POLOTICS did! !!! The new President is a smart man!

by: Vic from: Taipei
April 05, 2013 9:03 PM
It is cheaper for the Philippines to sit down and discuss bilaterally with China about some little rocks out in the deep blue sea. Why go back to a colonial master whom you kicked out before, why not pick a more able Philippine foreign affairs team.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
April 08, 2013 6:18 AM
Why don't Chinese Taiwanese go back to China and give back Taiwan to Japan?
Why don't Taiwan give back islands in South China Sea that it invaded from Vietnam in 1974 at the end of Vietnam War when U.S. stopped supporting South Vietnam?
Why don't Taiwanese government stop being two faced with both China and U.S.?

by: Dalyt Mukharjee from: UK
April 05, 2013 11:49 AM
I agree, Israel is part of the US, although i have never seen a greater numbers of Germans, Russians, Checoslovaquians and Filipinos in one such small place all enjoying their lives partying and having wonderful time - it is really an unbelievable place. However, they are surrounded and some say infiltrated by Arab Muslims who just want to destroy it all.

by: Sabanian from: Manila
April 05, 2013 9:54 AM
as a Pinoy, i know my country deeply down that our admiration of military exploits are reserved to only one nation and its not the US... its Israel!!! we would have like to see more PHL-Israel connection than PHL-US connection...
In Response

by: Featherknife from: Washington
April 05, 2013 10:19 AM
1-Israel would not exist as a nation without U.S. support.
2-Why would Israel want to have anything to do with the Philippines?

by: Synergy from: California
April 05, 2013 9:08 AM
I like the fact that US has its presence in the PHL. However, I remember that US did not give that much money it can afford when PHL was devastated with one of the super typhoon. China gave more if my memory serves me right. US poured alot more money on countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and etc. So much for an "Ally".

by: Tweety from: Los Angeles, CA
April 05, 2013 8:52 AM
Chinese communists living in P.I. won't like this and will finance a few hundred communist militant activists to stage rallies against U.S. presence in the country.

Too bad for the Chinese communist, now the volcano Pinatubo is not on their side to drive the Americans away.

Though the American bases were not there anymore, during the war with Afghanistan and Iraq, Philippine ports were used for refuel and maintenance of US ships and planes. Precisely why communist China wanted control of the South China Sea, in addition to China's economic interest in the region.

by: Tara from: Calif.
April 05, 2013 7:45 AM
It official that the United States and the Philippines are an open marry nation to battling grounds for custody. Smile, you are on satellite camera's!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs