MANILA – Due to his close ties with United States President Donald Trump, President Rodrigo Duterte said he will now reconsider purchasing US-made weapons.
Duterte on Saturday said he will reconsider buying weapons from the US due to the new policy being implemented by Trump.
“In the purchase of arms, we have a bad experience but they have a new policy now. We are going to reconsider,” Duterte said. “We’ll buy if we think we need that kind of particular item.”
Duterte added Manila will continue to honor its traditional alliance with the US under Trump. Both countries have a close to seven decades of Mutual Defense Treaty.
“I like Trump and I would like to assure America that we will not do anything to hinder, hamper or whatever,” Duterte said. “We are ready to cooperate, but this I have to say: I will not go to war with anybody.”
“We will go along with our alliances but to me, China and Russia are not enemies because ‘yung hindi dineliver ng Amerikano, that was the time I went to Russia, only to ask President Xi Jinping to give me a credit line ke’ wala akong pera,” he added.
In 2016, the US State department halted the planned sale of some 26,000 assault rifles to the Philippine National Police after US Sen. Ben Cardin said he would oppose it over concerns about human rights violations in the Philippines.
Earlier this year, Duterte said Manila will no longer procure weapons from the US after Washington threatened to impose sanctions on countries buying military equipment from Russia.
“When we needed in the hour of our need, Russia and China gave it to us practically free,” Duterte said. “To this day, they have not even asked for even one penny as payment.”
“They have not asked a military alliance. They have not asked for special favors to operate in this country, unlike the Americans,” added Duterte. /PN