President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has shown interest in watching the live fire exercises that will transpire during this year's Balikatan military exercises, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday.
At a public briefing, AFP spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar said Marcos has been invited to witness the military exercises, particularly the training between Filipino and American troops in Zambales.
"I am not very sure of the attendance but the President is invited and he showed great interest also in watching the live fire exercises," Aguilar said.
"But as to his schedule, I am not privy to it," he added.
GMA News Online has reached out to the Presidential Communications Office to ask if Marcos would indeed watch the Balikatan exercise, but it has yet to receive a response as of posting time.
On Tuesday, the Philippines and the United States started their biggest Balikatan military exercises, which aims to develop interoperability between the two countries and improve capability.
This year's Balikatan will have 17,600 participants including 12,200 US troops and 5,400 Philippine soldiers. Four major events are set including: Command Post Exercise, Cyber Defense Exercise, Field Training Exercise, and Humanitarian Civic Assistance (HCA).
According to Balikatan 2023 spokesperson Colonel Michael Logico, it will be the first time that the Philippines and the US would engage in live-fire exercises at sea.
The training will include combined joint logistics over the shore in Subic and Casiguran Bays and combined joint littoral live fire exercise in Zambales. —KBK, GMA Integrated News