US, Philippines to end military exercise a day early

US-Philippine military forces gather before their start of the annual Philippines-US live fire amphibious landing exercise at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac province, Philippines on Oct 10, 2016.
US-Philippine military forces gather before their start of the annual Philippines-US live fire amphibious landing exercise at Crow Valley in Capas, Tarlac province, Philippines on Oct 10, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (XINHUA) - The US and Philippine marines have decided to cut short their amphibious landing exercises and live-fire training in the Philippines, ending the games one day ahead of schedule, a spokesman for the Philippine marines said on Monday (Oct 10).

Both sides have agreed to end the exercises on Tuesday (Oct 11) instead of Wednesday (Oct 12), Captain Ryan Lacuesta, spokesman for the Philippine marines, said.

The drills, which started on October 4, were conducted in several areas in the Philippines' Luzon island and Palawan province.

Capt Lacuesta told reporters that the closing ceremony would be held at the Philippine marine headquarters in Manila on Tuesday.

"All major events have already been conducted. All the major exercises have been accomplished already so we decided to move the closing," he said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who assumed presidency in June, said he wants to terminate military exercises with the US during his term and prohibit the Philippine military from joining in joint patrols in the South China Sea.

The US and the Philippines conduct three major joint exercises and 28 minor cross-training exercises every year.