Duterte: PH will purchase more anti-terrorism equipment
PAMPANGA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte promised Philippine security forces that they would have the equipment they need to fight terrorism.
“Kayong mga security forces, you will have all the things you need. I will see to that,” said Duterte during the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force on Tuesday, July 5.
Specifically, Duterte wants more choppers with night-vision capability.
“We will acquire more helicopters and night vision capability. ’Yan ang nagha-hamper eh. (That's what is hampering us.) If I have that, we can improve our performance,” he said in the presence of top military officials and new Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
The Philippine president has said he wants to focus on security threats within the country’s borders. One such threat is terrorism.
“That is our problem, the coming serious problem of the country: terrorism,” he said.
The lack of proper equipment to address such internal threats limits what his administration can do to better ensure security within the country.
“I cannot move, I have to bide my time. I need equipment. Panahon na. (The time is now.) I am sure this is a time for, you know, landing softly,” he said.
New Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Lieutenant General Ricardo Visaya is in step with Duterte’s focus on internal security.
“’Yung gusto ng ating presidente is about ’yung internal peace natin (What our president wants is more on our internal peace) so it’s more of the equipment that will be needed in our internal security operations,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Consistent with Duterte’s desire for night-vision capability, Visaya said some needed equipment are set to be delivered this year.
“Within this year there will be delivery of additional night fighting system,” said the AFP chief.
Duterte updated the military on his administration’s other strategy for dealing with security threats: peace talks with rebels.
He said he has been in communication with both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front. In fact, he said he already has a negotiating team ready for the talks.
As for the initiation of peace talks with communist rebels, Duterte said it is “doing well.”
He is ready to give safe conduct passes to communist leaders like Jose Maria Sison, Benito Tiamzon and his wife, and Luis Jalandoni, he said.
However, amnesty to more Leftist political prisoners would only be given if the peace talks are successful and if the New People’s Army lay down their arms.
As for terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, Duterte repeated his warning that a time of reckoning will come for them. – Rappler.com