MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the turnover of 5,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 20 army trucks from Russia to the Philippines.
The ceremony, held on Wednesday, October 25, coincided with Duterte’s visit to a Russian warship in the Manila port.
He was accompanied by Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Philippine defense officials.
The Philippine President’s tour of the anti-submarine ship Admiral Pantaleev is his 3rd visit to a Russian warship.
The Russians donated 20 units of multi-purpose trucks, 5,000 AK-74 Kalashnikov assault rifles, one million 7.62 millimeter 1943-type cartridges with steel core bullets, and 5,000 units of steel helmets.
Duterte and Shoygu were accompanied by Philippine defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, Foreign Affairs chief Alan Peter Cayetano, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Eduardo Año, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev, and Russian Major General Aleksandr Kshimovkiy of Russia’s Ministry of Defense.
The President has toured two other Russian ships in the past. In January, he visited Admiral Tributs, another anti-submarine ship. In April, he toured the guided missile cruiser Varyag.
The military assistance comes 5 months after Duterte’s visit to Russia which was cut short when the Marawi crisis erupted on May 23, forcing the President to fly back home a day after his arrival in Moscow.
Duterte has long hailed Russia as another source of military equipment given the country’s offer to provide such assets for a discounted price or loan with generous terms. – Rappler.com