Duterte mulls arms deal with China and Russia: PH needs anti-insurgency weapons, not F-16s

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte disclosed that he is seriously considering purchasing weapons from China and Russia which he said would be used for anti-insurgency operations. According to Duterte, he has already directed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to go to Russia and China and do some window-shopping.

“I would like to ask Defense Secretary Lorenzana to, samahan kayo – the technical people. Pumunta kayo ng Russia at pumunta kayo ng China at tingnan ninyo kung ano ang pinakamabuti,” Rappler quoted him as saying. [I would like to ask Defense Secretary Lorenzana to accompany the technical people. Go to Russia and China and see what’s the best.] Saying that both countries have offered him the “softest loan” which would be payable by 2025, Duterte said he would prefer the weapons to be tailor-fitted for internal operations and not against external threats. “Sabi ko sa kanila na I want weaponries and armaments, hindi ko kailangan ‘yang mga jets, ‘yang mga F-16 [I told them I want weaponries and armaments, I don’t need jets, the F-16s], that’s of no use to us. We don’t intend to fight any country using that. Let’s content ourselves with even the propeller-driven planes but which we can use extensively in anti-insurgency,” he said. The president also assured the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that he will continue their modernization program. “You will start your modernization further with me. Ibigay ko sa lahat sa inyo ‘yung kailangan ninyo para talunin ‘yung kalaban [I will give you what you need to defeat the enemy],” he said.
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