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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid