China to give weapons to boost Phl security

Philippines to boost its security capabilities as the two countries push for warmer relations despite the South China Sea dispute.

President Duterte said China is pressing him to accept the weapons, prompting him to ask his security officials to go to Beijing to pick them up.

“I am talking to some people. I don’t know if I should tell you this, but China is pressing me. The firearms are already available and they are asking me to accept them,” Duterte told soldiers in Camp Aquino in Tarlac yesterday.

“Apurado sila (They are rushing). But I have a lot of things to do. I just told Defense Secretary (Delfin Lorenzana), go there and pick them up. I suppose that we can send some general there to receive (the firearms),” he added.

Duterte said the firearms are payable in 25 years so they are practically giveaways.

“We don’t need to ask from someone else because they’re willing to give it. They are not for free but it’s a grant actually. If it’s a grant payable in 25 years that is really practically giving,” the President said.

“So it’s obvious that China wants to give us something,” he added.

Duterte has been seeking close ties with China and Russia following a rift with the United States over differences on his war on illegal drugs.

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Last month, Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police to cancel the procurement of some 26,000 rifles from the US following reports that the deal was being opposed by an American senator due to human rights concerns.

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