Golez: Headline: "Duterte FLOPS on US Relations, War Games and Defense pacts."
The headline is not correct. The President, according to the SND, is scrapping the CARAT and PHIBLEX exercises, the very heart of the Mutual Defense Treaty exercises.
The Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines or CARAT between the US and Philippine forces will be discontinued, as announced by the SND.
CARAT would have been useful in training Philippine Navy units in a situation where the country is facing attacks from hostile surface and submarine forces, as envisioned in the Mutual Defense Treaty. that would not anymore be possible with the SND's announcement that CARAT has been discontinued.
PHIBLEX or US-Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise, will be discontinued according to the SND. The objective of PHIBLEX is to train on how to retake an area or island captured by hostile forces, using combined US and Philippine amphibious forces (Philippine Marines and US Marines). This is a Mutual Defense Treaty exercise designed to make the Mutual Defense Treaty operational in case of a contingency resulting from an external armed attack.
The Balikatan exercises as announced will be limited to "drills on counter-terrorism, humanitarian response, special operations on counterterrorism, engineering projects, civic action." Those exercises are not for mutual defense. The are not for defense against an external threat.