A few weeks after saying he wants the best equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that he is considering getting armaments from China and Russia.
“I would like to ask the 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,” Duterte said in a speech delivered at the 48th anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW) at Villamor Air Base on Tuesday.
The President also said two countries have given him the softest loan for purchase.
“...Two countries have agreed to give me the softest loan. It will be payable in 2025,” Duterte said.
Duterte explaining that he wants weaponries and armaments, not fighter jets, such as F-16, saying "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 sa anti-insurgency," he added.
In a later speech before airmen, still at Villamor Air Base, Duterte mentioned that some military officers have already been to China and Russia."
“...Your officers have been to Russia and others to China. The offers are coming in and I hope I would not disappoint anybody there,” he revealed.
Earlier however, during his visit to V. Luna General Hospital in Quezon City on August 2, Duterte criticized the equipment bought from China.
“Iyong pulis nagbili ng 'Made in China' M-16 … Tingnan mo ‘yung barrel, ang riple siguro dalawa lang. Eh ‘di paglabas ng bala niyan, gumaganon ‘yan. Eh sabotahe ‘yan eh. We should buy from the traditional market natin. Everything will be quality and fast,” he said, explaining that the practice of procuring from lowest bidders should not be followed.
“Mag-aaway tayo diyan kasi ‘yung lowest bid is the source of corruption. Pahabulan ng presyo sige bababaan mo ‘yung presyo mo, ‘yung iba nagpapabili ng 100, ipabili ito ng 20, eh ‘di yung bilhin mo sa akin ‘yung made in—alam mo na," Duterte said.
"Huwag muna ngayon kasi may alitan… Tapos sabihin ng sundalo, ‘Sir, nasira kaagad.’ Kagaya ‘nung mga jeep ng pulis. Tingnan mo ‘yung binili nila—wala na,” he added.
Meanwhile, when he visited the First Infantry Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, Duterte said he was not inclined to purchase M-16 rifles from China as well as Turkey because Philippines was not used to these rifles.
“China is exporting it. Everybody is exporting it. Turkey is one big manufacturer of firearms… But I am not inclined kay wala ta maanad anang armas na foreign sa ato [But I am not inclined because we are not used to arms from those foreign from us]… There is only one source, two or one, it is the United States with whom we have an alliance militarily,” he explained.
On the other hand, in a speech delivered in Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu on August 5, Duterte said that he wanted to purchase arms from Israel. — VVP, GMA News