First 'Balikatan' exercises under Duterte open

From the previous war games geared towards maritime security and territorial defense, this year's Balikatan shifts to disaster preparedness and fighting terrorism.

The PH-U.S. joint military drills, which opened at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, would last for two weeks. This is the first of such exercises under President Rodrigo Duterte.

The annual joint exercises pushed through despite Duterte's threat last year to have them scrapped altogether. However, the number of participating troops — which was 11,000 last year — had been cut down by more than half.