MANILA, Oct 19 (Mabuhay) – President Rodrigo Duterte did not consult officials of his Cabinet before he made statements in scrapping the Philippines’ joint military exercises with the United States, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday.
At the Commission on Appointments (CA) panel hearing on Lorenzana’s ad interim appointment, Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon asked: “You cannot deny that we are also benefiting from this (PH-US joint exercises), so why should we terminate this?”
Lorenzana then replied: “Mr. chair, I really don’t know because the President has been issuing statements without consulting the Cabinet.”
Lorenzana said there is no final decision yet to suspend the military exercises next year. “It is still on,” he said.
He said Duterte has asked him to make a presentation to the Cabinet soon with regards to the status of military exercises, and other agreements and treaties.
The Defense secretary earlier said that the US “are still hoping” to conduct military exercise with the Philippines.
Duterte had said that the recently concluded exercises with the US military will be the last under his term.
The President had also expressed openness to war games with China and Russia. (MNS)