MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is giving additional guns to all 120,000 soldiers in the Philippine military.
“I have decided to arm you all, all enlisted men and women, side arms. It’s the Glock caliber .45, Glock 30,” Duterte said on Tuesday, September 20, during a visit to a military camp in Mawab, Compostela Valley.
His announcement was greeted with applause from his audience of soldiers.
The Glock 30 .45 caliber pistols will be purchased from Israel, said Duterte. He did not explain where the funds for this will come from.
“You should get it as fast as Israel can produce it. I am buying so ilan kayo? Almost 130…120,000 plus. So that’s 120,000. Bibilin ko ‘yan para sa inyo,” he said.
(I am buying so how many are you? Almost 130…120,000 plus. So that’s 120,0000. I’ll buy them for you.)
Duterte previously said he had instructed Department of National Defense officials to go to China and Russia to buy military equipment. This time, he added India and Israel as possible sources of defense assets.
“Ngayon, lahat ng anti-terrorism equipment, marami na ang nagpunta: China, India, Israel. Sabi ko there will be only at least one or two source sa ating intelligence equipment,” he said.
(Now, all our anti-terrorism equipment, many have gone to China, India, Israel. I said there will be only at least one or two sources of our intelligence equipment.)
Duterte has been visiting military camps all over the country since his 3rd week in power. During these visits, he speaks to soldiers assuring them of his loyalty, explaining the need for the government to talk to communist and Moro rebels, and making promises to take care of the military.
The President has promised to raise their salaries and add 20,000 more soldiers to the armed forces, to buy state-of-the-art military equipment, to improve military health facilities, and to protect soldiers from jail time should cases be filed against them for their actions while “performing their duty.”
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.