Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) stands next to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting in Jerusalem September 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool
During his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will only buy weapons from Israel.
“My orders to my military, that in terms of military equipment, particularly intelligence gathering, we only have one country to buy from – that is Israel,” he said.
He also said that the United States is a “good friend” but added that buying from them entails limitations, and it’s the same with China and Germany.
“If they (United States) sell you something, they would also be listening, so will China and everybody else, Germany,” said Duterte.
In mid-August, three prominent members of US President Donald Trump’s Cabinet signified through a letter the Trump administration’s intention to enter into an arms deal with the Philippines.
But Duterte challenged the U.S. government’s sincerity especially after the U.S State Department called off the procurement of assault rifles to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2016 citing concerns of human rights violations in line the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“Bumili tayo ng 23,000 rifles. What happened? Binara ng isang congressman, ilang senador, ng Congress nila so I was forced to go to China (We bought 23,000 rifles. What happened? A congressman and several senators blocked the sale. So, I was forced to go to China),” the President had said. — Rosalie Coz