"We might move the naval exercises facing the South China Sea to Mindanao area to avoid annoying our neighbor [China], so let us be sensitive of our neighbors," Lorenzana told reporters during a military ceremony on Friday.
The decision has been seen by many as Manila’s attempt to repair its strained ties with Beijing.
On July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration overwhelmingly backed the Philippines ruling that the disputed territories of the Spratly archipelago claimed by China are not islands and, therefore, cannot be used as the basis of territorial claims.
It also said that some of the areas in question are “within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.”
Beijing, which has been building and fortifying artificial islands in the area, refused to recognize the court ruling.
Since taking office in June, Duterte has said more than once that he will end joint exercises between US and Filipino troops, and has courted favor with China and Russia.
In a recent outburst, the Philippine leader said China had "the kindest soul of all" for offering what he called was significant financial assistance.
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