President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to cancel its rifle deal with the United States, days after the US State Department halted the deal because of concerns on human rights violations in the country.
In his speech during the signing of the Executive Order on the reconstitution of the Bangsamoro Transition team in Malacanang, Duterte said he has ordered the cancellation of the purchase of 26,000 assault rifles from the US.
“I would like to announce now that the 26,000 or M16 were ordered already. I am ordering its cancellation,” the President said. “They will be arriving July 2017. I am ordering the police to cancel it.”
He added that the country will look for another source of rifles that are “cheaper and maybe as durable and as good” as those from the US.
“We will not insist on buying expensive arms. We can always get them somewhere else. Hindi natin kailangan [We don’t need it],” the President said.
He added that there is no need to rush the rifle deal since the Philippines has no enemy.
“Why should we hurry it? Wala naman tayo kalaban, tayo-tayo lang nagpapatayan dito (We don’t have enemies, it’s us who are killing each other),” Duterte said.