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Bato: Duterte has allowed US rifle deal to proceed

/ 12:10 PM November 14, 2016
A soldier tries out an M-4 assault rifle. INQUIRER FILE

A soldier tries out an M-4 assault rifle. INQUIRER FILE

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will pursue buying 26,000 assault rifles from the United States after President Rodrigo Duterte allowed it to proceed, according to PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Ronald dela Rosa.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa said the President gave the go ahead despite an earlier pronouncement that the Philippines could turn to Russia to arm the police.

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“I talked to him personally during our trip to Malaysia. We reported to him na the processing of the documents is going smoothly. Wala silang nakitang harang doon (sa US). Hindi naharang,” Dela Rosa said.

READ: PNP rifles deal not halted, Dela Rosa clarifies | Duterte cancels order of 26,000 rifles from US

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“So, when i explained that to him he said okay you continue,” he added.

American Sen. Ben Cardin had said he would block the sale of 26,000-27,000 M4 assault rifles to the PNP in the wake of alleged human rights abuses in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

The M4 is a carbine, shorter and lighter than the M16A2 assault rifle capable of firing semiautomatic or three-round bursts—ideal for close-quarter combat.

The SIG Sauer M4 is made by SIG Sauer GmbH of Germany, which has a US operation based in Newington, New Hampshire.

But Dela Rosa said Duterte might still opt to stop the arms deal if the US government would block it.

“As far as the PNP is concerned we have the blessing of the President to continue with the transaction kung hindi maharang. Pero kung harangin nila im sure the president will tell me to stop it,” Dela Rosa said. CBB

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TAGS: assault rifles, Features, M-4, Rodrigo Duterte, Ronald dela Rosa, Sig Sauer
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