‘Balikatan not due to NoKor’


MANILA, Philippines—Because many have been asking, the Philippine military said on Saturday it felt compelled to assert that the ongoing joint exercise between Philippine and United States forces was not borne out of the tension on the Korean peninsula nor was it directed at any nation.

The PH-US Balikatan exercise had long been planned before the issue on the Korean peninsula emerged,” said Maj. Emmanuel Garcia, spokesperson for the joint exercises.

“Balikatan is not directed toward nor against any nation. Its focus is on the humanitarian aspect which comprises two-thirds of the total number of main (exercise) events,” he said.


Garcia told the INQUIRER he found it imperative to issue a statement after being constantly asked if the Balikatan was called in answer to the crisis resulting from the warmongering by North Korea which has threatened to fire missiles at South Korea and US territories in the Asia Pacific.

According to Garcia, Balikatan events are categorized into community health engagements and infrastructure construction and repair, humanitarian assistance and disaster response with focus on typhoon and maritime disaster, and traditional military engagement and combat focused on expert exchanges by both sides.

Quick response

“All of these are being done to upgrade the skills and knowledge of (Filipino and American) soldiers and enhance the interoperability of both militaries in responding appropriately and promptly not only to combat situations but more importantly to calamities and disasters,” Garcia said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • BIGButo

    The U.S. does not need help from the Philippines if they are attacked by North Korea. They can and will be able to take care of themselves. We here in the Philippines are afraid to go to war we cannot even even take care of our own civil war in the southern Philippines or get rid of the terriest how can we help the USA. We are the ones that need the help

  • $18209031

    Basta Balikatan libre ang MREs at bala .

    • pfc_kulapu

      Tanda na TANGA..
      yun lang comments mo, wala na budget para syo….
      Gutom kang matanda ka….

  • Albert Einstien

    CATER to YOU ad infinitum USA—-your slave FILIPINO POLiTICIANS…

    yan balikatan GAMES dapat postpone muna NUCLEAR ATTACK magnets yan mga US WARSHIPS …100 million lives ang ISASAKRIPISYO dahil lang sa balikatan games…

    si pnoy mas INU-UNA nya pa pangangampaya sa KAMAG-ANAK nyang si BAM AQUINO kesa sa kapakanan ng OFW at sambayanan…


    Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people.

    FILIPINO PEOPLE hindi po people ng AMERICA..

    • Crazy_horse101010

      still writing science fiction i see. poor science fiction

      • Albert Einstien

        well..that’s the opinion of a crazy horse…lol

      • Crazy_horse101010

        lets let the world decide who is crazy . as i said go to america and cry on their shoulders they will listen to you since you so outstanding in your field hee hee. hee

      • pfc_kulapu

        kabayo , diba cashcashyan race ka…

    • BIGButo

      You make a lot of stupid comments get your information correct fool.

  • mangtom

    Suggestion ko lang: albert Einstien: umuwi ka na lang sa Tsina. Wala kaming pangangailangan sa mga dumb ideas mo tungkul sa alliance ng PH-US. Tsia tsen, goodbye, adios. You are wasting everybody’s time with your pro-Chinese propaganda.

    • Albert Einstien

      ha ha…TRUTH HURTS….PATRIOTIC filipino lang po ang views ko..pakibasa to para tumalino ka po…hindi ako pro china o pro RP ako….lol


      till TODAY!!!

      • The Republic ofChina, founded in 1911 after the overthrow of the Qing
      dynasty, ruled the Chinese mainland until 1949. In 1945, the ROC acquired
      Taiwan from Japan following World War II. In the 1946–1949 phase of the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Communist Party defeated the nationalist Kuomintang in mainland Chinaand established the People’s Republic of China in Beijing on 1 October 1949.The Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to Taiwan, establishing its capitalin Taipei. The ROC’s jurisdiction is now limited to Taiwan and several outlying islands, including Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Since 1949, the People’s Republicof China and the Republic of China (now widely known as “Taiwan”)have remained in dispute over the sovereignty of China and the political statusof Taiwan, mutually claiming each other’s territory and competing for international diplomatic recognition.

      • PRC or china who is now claiming our territories were established
      only in 1949…. Yet they say they hold these islands since time in
      memorial….even the original “ de jure “ ROC who overthrow the last dynasty has not laid claim over our islands..their claims were limited to parts of india, russia, myanmar,bhutan, tajikistan, afghanistan & japan

      ALL islands in the SPRATLYs are OWNED by the TITLE …..
      different asian fishermen go there but there were no CLAIMANTS… it is ONLY
      SPAIN who made the EARLIEST claim of ALL the ISLANDS under PHILIPPINE
      TERRITORY……even before it was discovered & claimed by other countries.
      In 1606 the islands were Claimedby Spain as part of the Philippines . while the
      next discoverer 1710 ChineseChing dynasty claims two NORTHERN islands and builds a temple on North EastCay. in 1791 Visited by British Capt. Henry Spratly discovers MischiefReef…… But it is ONLY in 1987 after the OUSTER of marcos . ……time CORYof administration…… EMBOLDENED .GUANGDONG a province of china made theattempt to ADJUST their territory. The geographic coordinates were reported byGuangdong Provincial Government. In September 10 1987, the State of Council approved the request from Guangdong Provincial Government to adjust the area and coordinates of the Xuande Quandao (Amphitrite Group) and Qilianyu. Afteradjustment the geographic coordinates became: Latitude 15º43’- 17º00’N,Longitude112º10’- 112º54’E for Xuande Qundao; Latitude 16º55’ – 17º00’ N,Longitude 112º12’ – 112º21’ for Qilianyu. BUT ONLY now 2012…..china established a government for spratly & other island groups…… they call it Sansha…it has has equal administrative status to a prefecture-level city, and wascreated ONLY on 24 July 2012…. after the pnoy-trillanes backdoor secret negotiation with china ( started in april ) : )

      Why pnoy & cory govts..tolerated china’s taking of our territorial
      islands……is it because they have relatives in china.? noy said in his visit
      to his relatives” : that if one is to move forward, one must know how to
      look back. So I would like to thank the people of Hongjian—all my distant
      cousins, aunts, and uncles—for their warm welcome, and for being among the many who give me the strength to carry on and succeed,” Mr. Aquino said. ( inquirer 2011)while cory said in her visit to her relatives in china…{When President Cory came to Hongjian Village in 1988 she planted an araucaria tree (a genus of coniferous evergreen) to commemorate her visit. She also lighted incense at the altar of the Ancestral Temple of the Xu (Co) Clan. She was quoted as having remarked “I am the President, but I am also the daughter of Hongjian Village” ( news item )

      The YUAN MAP of CHINA is .doctored & .PIRATED .. ..they just copied maps
      & discovery by magellan 1480-1521, Sebastián Vizcaíno (1548 – 1624) &
      map of pedro murillo velarde 1734, Map of the Philippine Islands. Map from Continuation of the Complete History of England, vol. 5, published by Tobias George Smolett, MD. Map by Thomas Kitchin, 1765 [1763] because
      maps made by marco polo on china 1254-1324..islands of the Philippines were not included…even spratly & panatag… china is claiming spratly &
      panatag shoal under yuan dynasty 1280-1365 their largest dynasty in their
      history….if you will look at the yuan dynasty ancient map…it covers RUSSIA,
      MONGOLIA,TIBET, NORTH KOREA & INDIA, it does not even COVER TAIWAN…how could china even cover spratly & panatag shoal…

      what is a TRAGIC COMEDY is that yuan dynasty is in fact MONGOLIA….not china because it was established by emperor Yuan Shizu (Borjigin Kublai) Grandson of Genghis Khan, and founder of the Yuan Dynasty. He moved the capital to Beijing and settled there. In 1279, he defeated the Southern Song Dynasty (960 – 1279). It should be the government of mongolia who should be claiming the south china sea not china..if they insist on yuan dynasty map…that is why CHINA is AFRAID to elevate their claims to UN…….not because of UNCLOS but because their claim is baseless….they dont even have a standing in court. )

      In the case of Bajo de Masinloc, the Philippines has exercised both
      effective occupation and effective jurisdiction over Bajo de Masinloc since its
      independence. The name Bajo de Masinloc (translated as “under Masinloc”) itself identifies the shoal as a particular political subdivision of the Philippine
      Province of Zambales, known as Masinloc. Bajo de Masinloc is located
      approximately at latitude 15⁰08 degrees North and longitude 117⁰45 degrees East. It is approximately 124-NM off the nearest coast of the Philippine Province of Zambales. Clearly, the rock features of Bajo de Masinloc are within the 200-NM EEZ and CS of the Philippine archipelago. One of the earliest known and most accurate maps of the area, named Carta Hydrographical y Chorographica De Las Yslas Filipinas by Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde, SJ, and published in 1734, included Bajo de Masinloc as part of Zambales.The name Bajo de Masinloc was given to the shoal by the Spanish colonizers. In 1792 another map drawn by the Alejandro Malaspina expedition and published in 1808 in Madrid, Spain, also showed Bajo de Masinloc as part of Philippine territory. This map showed the route of the Malaspina expedition to and around the shoal. It was reproduced in the Atlas of the 1939 Philippine Census.

      RP already exercised effective control & jurisdiction since
      spainish war…Chinese assertion based on historical claims must be
      substantiated by a clear historic title. It should be noted that under public
      international law, historical claims are not historical titles. A claim by
      itself, including historical claim, could not be a basis for acquiring a
      territory. otherwise there will be third world war if china insist yuan
      map..they need to be at war with russia, india, north korea, taiwan, japan,
      pakistan, mongolia etc…they have NO BASIS!

      besides MONGOLIA is owner of yuan map not china….MONGOLIA will never
      claim spratly & panatag islands….china’s claim is based on hallucination
      & fiction….like their fictional movies ….it’s GOOD only for children

      there is a solution to the SCS issue…those countries fed up with
      TERRITORY grabbing, NATo, EU, ME, ASIA & other countries who believed that
      SCS issue is a threat to world peace & economy can declare & vote for
      support in the future of a lawful COLLECTIVE INTERVENTION…in case of armed
      aggression & posturings…there is also another remedy….these countries
      can RECOGNIZE ROC (TAIWAN) as a SOVEREIGN in whole of china…then territorial grabbing will stop in an INSTANT.!

      • Isaganilla Gella


      • BIGButo

        I think the Chinese are nuts

  • mangtom

    albert einstien-basahin mo yong previous postings mo kung maintindihan mo. Tama yong sabi ng isang nagcomment sa postings mo: fiction writer ka.

  • pepito gwaps

    “Balikatan” is a yearly event but the external threat is a daily event especially at west Phil sea…I wonder for which this exercise is aiming for???

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos