MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday bared that Russia and China have agreed to provide weaponry and armaments that the Philippine military can use in its counter-insurgency campaign.
Speaking before members of the Philippine Air Force during the 48th Anniversary Celebrations of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, the President said that the two countries have also agreed to provide the military equipment through soft loans.
“The two countries have agreed to give me the softest loan, payable in 20-25 years. Sabi ko sa kanila, I want weaponry and armaments,” he said.
But the deal, he said, would not include high-end fighter jets like F-16s or the like as the Philippines do not intend to fight any countries.
“Let’s contend ourselves with the propeller-driven planes but which we can use extensively in counter-insurgency,” Duterte said.
“There are countries that offered us, so many. Sabi nila mamili ka lang dun. I would like to ask Defense Secretary (Delfin) Llorenzana to go with you, along with the technical people. Go to Russia, go to China and look for what will be the best for you,” the President said.
“We can buy the arms where they are cheap and where there are no strings attached and it is transparent. Sabi ko sa kanila, I won’t deal with you except on government to government basis. They said that they will be happy to show you what they can offer,” Duterte said
He also called on the military establishment for better intelligence gathering.
“The most important thing here is you have to change paradigm. Hindi na ito giyera na harap-harapan. So it’s always a matter of detection, meaning something is afoot and you have to detect to find out what it is. ibahin na ninyo because we are dealing with terrorists. There will be explosion after explosion until we find peace,” the President said.
“I will give everything you need to defeat the enemy. Short of a world war which we cannot participate and which is anyhow useless, I will give you all the things you want,” Duterte said. Cielito Reganit/PNA/northboundasia.com