• China set to deliver defense equipment

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    BEIJING will deliver this year more equipment that will be used for counter-terrorism and security in Mindanao, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said.

    Lorenzana said the deal on the defense equipment, including rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and fast boats, was part of a 700-million-yuan grant from China.

    China delivered M16 and M14 rifles as well as ammunition in June.

    “The RPGs will be delivered this month. The fast boats [will be delivered]before the year ends,” the Defense chief told The Manila Times in a text message.

    In May, Lorenzana said the Philippines was eyeing to secure a deal for defense equipment from China during the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, where President Rodrigo Duterte was a guest.

    “We need these RPGs because our enemies are equipped with that. In Marawi, the Maute-ISIS have it, but we don’t have,” he said, referring to the local arm of the Islamic State.

    Military troops in Marawi City have seized RPGs while conducting clearing operations.

    Lorenzana said the fast boats would be used to patrol Sulu Sea.

    “The fast boats will be additional for patrolling in Sulu Sea against piracy and kidnapping,” Lorenzana told The Manila Times.

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