Duterte cancels order of 26,000 rifles from US
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he is ordering the cancellation of the purchase of assault rifles from the United States.
“I would like to announce now that the 26,000 of M16 ordered already, I am ordering its cancellation sa police,” he said of the order for 26,000 assault rifles.
“And we will just have to look for another source that is cheaper but maybe as durable and as good,” Duterte said during a speech in Malacañang.
The US earlier said that it will halt the supply of arms to the Philippines but the Philippine National Police said its supplier confirmed the purchase already.
“They will be arriving July 2017. I am ordering the police to cancel it,” Duterte said, who earlier belittled the US threat to call off the sale.
The President, who has been trading barbs with the US, said the government should not buy expensive weapons when it can get it at a better rate from other suppliers.
At the same time, he said buying more weapons will just result in more violence.
“’Yung baril na ‘yan bilhin ko, sino patayin ko n’yan? Wala naman tayong kalaban. Tayo-tayo nagpapatayan dito,” he said.
Duterte said he will just use the money to “contribute it to the success of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC)” or for other endeavors.
The President gave his statement during the signing of the Executive Order reconstituting and expanding the BTC. JE
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