US

Manila says will not help US on patrols in South China Seas

  • Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, center, answers questions from reporters after attending a conference in Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Lorenzana said it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, center, answers questions from reporters after attending a conference in Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Lorenzana said it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gestures during a conference in Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Lorenzana said it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gestures during a conference in Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Lorenzana said it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • The shadow of Japanese diplomat Shingo Yamagami, director general from the Japan Institute for International Affairs, is seen on the electronic board during a conference in Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during the conference it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    The shadow of Japanese diplomat Shingo Yamagami, director general from the Japan Institute for International Affairs, is seen on the electronic board during a conference in Makati, south of Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during the conference it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China.

Lorenzana said Thursday that U.S. ships and aircraft could use bases in Guam, Okinawa or fly from aircraft carriers to patrol the disputed waters.

Under President Rodrigo Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, some U.S. aircraft and ships stopped in the Philippines on the way to patrolling the disputed waters to counter China's aggressive moves to back up its territorial claims.

Duterte, who took office in June, has taken steps to mend damaged ties with China while taking a hostile stance on the U.S., his country's longtime treaty ally.