Sourcing military equipment from countries like Russia, China mandated by law – defense official

MANILA — A defense official said Wednesday looking towards other countries, such as Russia and China as possible sources of equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is mandated by the law.

Department of National Defense (DND) public affairs director Arsenio Andolong told PNA in an interview that Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, dictates that “we must not limit possible sources of our materiel to only a few countries as this will rob us of the opportunity to acquire what could be the best equipment”.

Andolong said technical working groups of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have been conducting market research on new hardware and technologies from many countries, including Russia and China.

“For the record, we also looked at the offerings from Sweden, Germany and France,” he said.

Andolong was commenting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that Russia and China have agreed to provide armaments and other weaponry to the AFP for its counter-insurgency campaign.

“Of course, there are other considerations, such as cost,inter-operability with our existing equipment and personnel capacity,” he pointed out.

The Philippines has traditionally sourced its military equipment from the US, Israel, South Korea and Japan, to name a few. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA/