Approximately five thousand Navy and Marines from United States and Philippines kicked-off the eleven-day Amphibious Landing Exercise 15 (PHIBLEX). The ceremony took place at Naval Forces West (NavForWest) headquarters at Barangay San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
Kabataan party-list Terry Ridon from Makabayan Bloc said this event between US and PHL is a soft launch of Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
“Organizers of the PHIBLEX themselves admit that the military exercises have nothing to do with China’s incursion in the West Philippine Sea. In other words, these US warships are not here to drive away China from Panatag Shoal,” Ridon added.
Ridon noted that presence of US warships inside PHL territories brings threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region and did not produce any tangible benefit for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
USS Peleliu (LHA-5), Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship, arrived at Subic Bay Freeport Saturday, September 27 together with USS Germantown (LSD-42) a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship.
“The promised benefits of the annual military exercises have yet to be seen, but now we have EDCA, which will allow for unhampered military presence in the country,” the Kabataan party-list representative said.
Activities for PHIBLEX 15 will be held at Subic Bay, Clark Air Field and in West Philippine Sea to train amphibious units capable of providing security in the region.