President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said his administration will no longer accept secondhand military equipment from other nations, including the United States, even as he told troops that they would win the war against terrorists.
"During my time, wala na akong secondhand [na] mga barko-barko. It has to be brand new. Hindi na ako tatanggap ng mga equipment ng military na secondhand," Duterte told soldiers of the 102nd Infantry Brigade in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.
"Iyong ibinibigay ng Amerikano, ayaw ko na 'yan. Even I have to spend double the money," he added.
Duterte said he would source the brand new firearms from two countries which he did not identify, although he has been exerting efforts to seek closer ties with Russia and China.
"You have the best equipments, ‘yung – ang sources natin sa baril ninyo is just two nations. I will not mention the names," he said.
Duterte also expressed confidence that the government forces would crush terrorism, even if it would take them more time and more lives.
"Dito naman sa extremism, mananalo tayo. But we will have losses, ganoon lang talaga ang buhay. That is how life is governed in this universe. You would never know when," he said.
"Pero sabihin mo matalo tayo, imposible 'yan. It will just take a longer period," he alsos aid, adding that as signatories to the Geneva Convention, they are bound to ensure that there will be no civilian casualties during armed operations.
Government security forces are currently battling members of the local terrorist group Maute in Marawi City. As of June 1, the government suffered 36 losses including 10 soldiers who were killed in a friendly fire.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23 after the ISIS-inspired Maute group attacked Marawi City. He told Congress that gaining control of Marawi City would be an important step for the terrorists to take over the entire Mindanao. —KBK, GMA News