China haul: PNP brings home armored vests, monitoring tools

Bea Cupin

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China haul: PNP brings home armored vests, monitoring tools
PNP chief Dela Rosa says the Philippines wants a relationship with Chinese law enforcers that is comparable to existing relationships with US counterparts

MANILA, Philippines – As the Philippines “charts another way” when it comes to its foreign policy and its dealings with the United States, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is poised to forge even closer ties with its counterparts from the People’s Republic of China.

Yung sa China, ‘pag kausap mo sila, ito yung mga Orientals, yung values nila at values natin halos magkapareho lang. ‘Pag kinakausap mo, galing sa puso, nararamdaman mo na totoo, hindi nambobola,” PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa told reporters on Tuesday, October 25, when asked about the future of relations between the two police forces.

(In China, you talk to them, they’re Orientals. Their values and our values are practically the same. If you talk to them, you feel the sincerity. They’re not pulling your leg.)

“Going towards that direction” was how Dela Rosa described the sort of relationship the Philippine is eyeing with Chinese law enforcers, if compared to its existing relationship with the United States.

The United States, through different law enforcement and intelligence agencies has close ties with the PNP – offering equipment, training, and most importantly, intelligence with their Filipino counterparts. The Philippine military enjoys the same relationship with its American counterparts.

But President Rodrigo Duterte recently announced his “separation” from the Western superpower both in military and economic aspects. The newly-elected president later clarified that “separation” doesn’t mean the severance of ties but a “separation of my foreign policy.”

Dela Rosa was part of the Philippine contingent during Duterte’s days-long visit to China. The PNP chief said they asked Chinese police for an “intelligence exchange,” particularly when it comes to monitoring narcotics activities between the Philippines and China.

The two police forces also agreed on “capability enhancement [including] equipment and training.”

Dela Rosa said they brought home 115 “boxes of equipment” from China.

Ang masasabi ko lang sa inyo na equipment na puwede ninyong malaman, armored vest. Yung iba, di ko puwedeng sabihin dahil malalaman ng kalaban ang capability namin kung gaano na pala kami kagaling mag-monitor sa kanila,” he added.

(What I can tell you is that we were given armored vests. The others, I can’t tell you because our enemies will know our capability when it comes to monitoring them.)

Police officials from Fujian province, said Dela Rosa, are set to visit the Philippines in a week’s time to talk to local officials about the importation of illegal drugs from the southeastern Chinese province.

Dela Rosa noted that the Chinese province’s proximity to several provinces in Luzon make the Philippines a prime target for would-be drug lords from Fujian.  

Duterte’s recent pronouncements and apparent “pivot” to China has sent shockwaves all around the country. The Philippines’ renewed relationship with China comes months after it won a historic case on the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.