No truth to report PH nixed joining South China Sea drills – Brawner
MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. on Monday debunked a Japanese media report stating that Philippine government declined to participate in a supposed multilateral naval exercise among the countries of United States, Japan, and Australia in South China Sea.
Kyodo News on August 18 reported the three countries were allegedly considering sending their vessels in the Philippines for the purported naval exercise.
Manila, however, supposedly “cancelled” its participation since the aircraft of the participating countries “are too large to land on the decks of Philippine warships,” the report further claimed.
However, Brawner clarified no such exercises are scheduled in the contested waters.
“From our point of view, wala tayong alam na ganoon, at hindi tayo tumanggi,” Brawner said in an ambush interview at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon city.
(From our point of view, we are not aware of such things, and we did not reject participating in the exercises.)
“We are still continuing to coordinate kung saan nanggaling ang source ng information na ito,” he said nevertheless.
(We are still continuing to coordinate as to where the source of this information came from.)
“But as far as we are concerned, hindi natin alam kung saan galing ito, and with coordination with our counterparts, walang exercise among these three nations.”
(But as far as we are concerned, we don’t know where it came from, and upon coordination with our counterparts, there are no exercise among these three nations.)
Contrary to the report, Brawner said AFP is promoting and encouraging military exercises among “like-minded nations.”
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