TruNews – January 03, 2017
(MANILA, PHILIPPINES) Russia wants to hold maritime drills with the Philippines to help combat terrorism and piracy, sending two warships to Manila for the first official navy-to-navy contact, as President Rodrigo Duterte pivots to United States’ traditional rivals.
Washington and the Philippines have been holding naval exercises annually but Duterte has instructed the defense ministry to “reformat” drills with Washington, moving away from the South China Sea to repair relations with China.
Mikhailov said they were willing to help train Philippine counterparts to fight piracy and terrorism and they hope to foster stronger security in the region.
The Philippines has been struggling to prevent Islamist militants from abducting crew of slow-moving tugboat and foreigners sailing on yachts in the southern maritime borders with Indonesia and Malaysia.