Nothing wrong with accepting Chinese military grant — AFP

MANILA — As long as the 100 million yuan weapons grant of the People’s Republic of China is not burdened with conditions or impositions, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sees no problem in accepting the above-mentioned assistance.

This was stressed by AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo in a briefing Thursday.

He added the offer coming from China only shows the Philippines only demonstrates the two nations long standing friendship and being neighborly.

“There is nothing detrimental in accepting their help, especially if these will help fulfill our needs. And we believe these offers are not imposed or burdened with conditions,” Arevalo said in Filipino.

He also expressed belief that the Chinese grant will help boost the AFP’s capability to do its constitutional mandate.

“We do not know yet the quantities, but we are looking at fast boats, drones, night vision goggles, and communications equipment,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said on the Chinese grant.

One hundred million yuan is worth US$ 14 million or around Php720 million.

The grant was announced following the meeting of President Rodrigo Duterte with Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, Zhao Jianhua last Dec. 19 at Malacañang Palace in Manila.

The Chinese envoy conveyed that the grant is China’s support to the President’s war on illegal drugs and terrorism.

The Chinese government also offered a low-interest long-term loan amounting to US$ 500 million.

Lorenzana said the DND will study the offer vis-à-vis the current AFP Modernization Program.