Navy ordered not to join multinational drills in West PHL Sea, except within territorial waters

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that President Rodirgo Duterte has a standing order that the military can only participate in exercises with other navies within Philippines’ territorial waters in West Philippine Sea.

“President Rodrigo Duterte has a standing order to us, to me, that we should not involve ourselves in naval exercises in the South China Sea except our national waters, the 12 mile distance from our shores,” Secretary Lorenzana said, as quoted by, during online press briefing on August 3.

“We cannot exercise with them in the South China Sea,” Secretary Lorenzana said.

“If one country’s action is considered as belligerent, another tension will normally rise, so I hope that all the parties in this exercise will have, will work on their actions there, to exercise prudence and carefulness so that there will be no miscalculations that could further increase the tension,” he explained.