Palace defends Duterte plan to buy arms from China
A Malacañang official on Thursday defended the President’s plan to look to China as a source of military equipment despite the Chief Executive’s earlier pronouncement questioning its quality of firearms.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar argued that not everything produced by China is defective.
He said many items Filipinos use are made in China and they have had no problems with them.
“For me, it depends on the product. Maybe the China-made products that the President mentioned were the ones that were defective,” he said in a press briefing.
In a speech at the AFP Medical Center last month, President Duterte said firearms sourced from China were substandard or could have been sabotaged.
He made the statement as he promised to procure the best equipment for the soldiers in a government-to-government procurement.
The President’s spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, on Thursday said that while Mr. Duterte had directed defense officials to study the option of sourcing equipment from China or Russia, “they’re not closing the options to these two alone.”
Abella, noting China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin’s statement that ties between the two countries were at a “new turning point,” said the conversation between the two countries was “friendly.”
“You could almost say getting to know you. The whole purpose is to be able to establish warmer relationships,” Abella said.
He said he was unaware if there were any preconditions to the two countries’ conversation, but said there was an “openness” between them.
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