Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – To boost the military's capability against suppress rebellion, President Rodrigo Duterte says the government will acquire 23 attack helicopters in 2018.
“Meron tayong acquisition na 23 attack helicopters, ‘yun suficiente na ‘yan for a… ‘yung mga rebellion-rebellion (We have an acquisition of 23 attack helicopters. That’s sufficient for rebellions.)” said Duterte on Tuesday, November 21.
He was giving a speech in front of 26 soldiers wounded in various encounters, mostly in Marawi. He conferred upon them the Order of Lapu-Lapu and gave them P100,000 each.
Duterte said he will soon ask military officials to fly to different countries to negotiate for the purchase of defense equipment.
“I will ask military officials to go to different places to negotiate immediately,” said Duterte.
He said the Philippine government can go for affordable loans, if it will not be possible to get the equipment for free.
“If we’ll have a hard time asking for it, because it’s embarrassing also to always ask, let’s get a soft loan, payable in 25 years,” said the President in a mix of English and Filipino.
The Philippines will get the new equipment “maybe next year,” he added.
Duterte again promised to only get new equipment for the military and police, instead of second-hand purchases.
“Everything I will buy for you, all will be new. None of the purchases during my time, for the Armed Forces and police, will be second-hand,” said Duterte. – Rappler.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.