MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reversed his termination of a key defense pact with the United States that allows large-scale combat exercises between U.S. and Philippine forces.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced Duterte’s decision at a joint meeting with reporters Friday with his visiting U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin, in Manila.
Another Philippine official earlier told The Associated Press that Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. would hand over a document to Austin about Duterte’s decision to keep the Visiting Forces Agreement in a separate meeting later Friday.
“The president decided to recall or retract the termination letter for the VFA,” Lorenzana said. “We are back on track.”
Austin welcomed Duterte’s decision, which he said would help bolster defense…