Duterte cancels US firearms deal | Inquirer News

Duterte cancels US firearms deal

/ 12:34 AM November 08, 2016

President Duterte on Monday ordered the cancelation on the purchase of 26,000 police rifles from the United States after US senatorial aides said last month that Washington was halting the sale due to concerns about human rights violations.

“We will not insist on buying expensive arms from the United States. We can always get them somewhere else. I am ordering the police to cancel it. We don’t need them,” Duterte said on Monday, adding that the Philippines could look for cheaper options elsewhere.


The transaction was earlier reported to have been canceled by the United States, but the Philippine National Police said it had received no such notice and plans to continue the P1.7-billion deal.


But on Monday, Mr. Duterte made it clear that the deal would not be pushing through.

“I would like to announce now that the 26,000 [rifles] that was, maybe, ordered or were ordered already, I am ordering its cancelation by the police,” he said in a speech in Malacañang on Monday.

The firearms were supposed to arrive by July 2017, Duterte said.

“We will just have to look for another source that is cheaper and maybe as durable and as good as those made in the place we are ordering them,” he said.

He also said was in no rush to procure the firearms.

“Who would I kill with these guns I would buy? We have no enemies. We’re the only ones killing each other. So what’s my hurry? I don’t have to hurry. I buy bullets, what for? For the Filipinos?” he said.


“I will just cancel it. Contribute it to the success of the reinvigorated Bangsamoro Transition Committee,” he added.

The government could look for other uses for the money, Mr. Duterte added.

“Let us just have a moratorium of violence and, maybe, we can use the money, use for some other endeavors,” he said.

Earlier reports said the US state department was canceling the firearms deal because of US Senator Ben Cardin’s concern over the human rights situation in the Philippines amid the administration’s war against drugs.

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Mr. Duterte had scoffed at the supposed development, saying the Philippines could turn to other markets, including Russia.


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