MILITARY

Philippines tells US no joint patrols in South China Sea

  • FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, poses with a fist bump with Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana, left, during his "Talk with the Airmen" on the anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, at the Philippine Air Force headquarters in suburban Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines.  The Philippine defense chief said Friday, Oct. 7, 2016,  that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country's new president. Defense Secretary Lorenzana also said that 107 U.S. troops involved in operating surveillance drones against Muslim militants would be asked to leave the southern part of the country once the Philippines acquires those intelligence-gathering capabilities in the near future.  (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2016 file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, poses with a fist bump with Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana, left, during his "Talk with the Airmen" on the anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, at the Philippine Air Force headquarters in suburban Pasay city, southeast of Manila, Philippines. The Philippine defense chief said Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country's new president. Defense Secretary Lorenzana also said that 107 U.S. troops involved in operating surveillance drones against Muslim militants would be asked to leave the southern part of the country once the Philippines acquires those intelligence-gathering capabilities in the near future. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana speaks during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Lorenzana said Friday that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country’s new president. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana speaks during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Lorenzana said Friday that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country’s new president. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gestures as he answers questions from reporters during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Lorenzana said Friday that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country’s new president. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gestures as he answers questions from reporters during a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo military headquarters in suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. Lorenzana said Friday that he told the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, the first concrete break in defense cooperation after months of increasingly strident comments by the country’s new president. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippine defense chief says he has informed the U.S. military that plans for joint patrols and naval exercises with the Americans in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold as the country's new president desires.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also said Friday that 107 U.S. troops involved in operating surveillance drones against Muslim militants would be asked to leave the southern part of the country when the Philippines acquires those intelligence-gathering capabilities in the near future.

Lorenzana says President Rodrigo Duterte wants to halt 28 Philippine military exercises with U.S. forces carried out each year. Duterte has said he wants an ongoing U.S.-Philippine combat exercise to be the last in his six-year presidency as he backs away from too much dependence on the U.S.