With the territorial dispute at the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal, the Philippines-US Balikatan military exercises pursued as 4,000 American troops will join their Filipino counterparts on Monday.
However, Malacañang Palace has stated that the the exercises, which will run until April 27, are not meant to be a "show of force" against China.
"Wala itong kinalaman sa naging insidente sa Panatag. The exercises are always scheduled noon pa," Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview.
"Umaasa tayo this will not result in provocation. As we have said the exercises had long been scheduled and wala siyang kinalaman sa insidente.", Valte said.
The Philippines took a standoff with China off Panatag Shoal, which is about 124 nautical miles off Zambales, after the Philippine military spotted Chinese fishing vessels poaching in the area.