The President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte (center) at the airbase “Vilamor metro Manila
The Minister of defense of Philippines Dolphin Lorenzana and “technical experts” the armed forces will visit Russia and China and “choose the best” military equipment, said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. According to him, the Philippines agreed with the two countries on soft loan for a period of 25 years for the purchase of arms, according to Bloomberg. Duterte did not specify which countries have agreed to be lenders.
According to the Stockholm International Institute of peace studies, from 1950 American weapons is 75% of the arms imports of the Philippines. While Russia and China never supplied arms Manila. According to the assessment, IHS Janes, this year the defense budget of the Philippines rose by 60% compared to last year and amounted to 25 billion pesos ($254 million).
On Tuesday, speaking with the television reference to the army, Duterte also said that the Philippines needs turboprop planes that can be used against the rebels and to fight against terrorists. He stressed that he wants to buy weapons “where it is cheap, and where do not put any conditions and transactions transparent.”
“I need fighters, F-16 — they are useless to us. We are not going to war with another country,” said Duterte. He also said that the Philippines will not participate in patrolling the South China sea, that would not be involved in any “hostile act”. “I only want to patrol our territorial waters,” he added.
Earlier this year, before may Duterte was elected President, the United States began joint patrols with the Philippines in an attempt to strengthen military cooperation to combat the territorial claims of China on 80% of the South China sea, reminds Bloomberg.
In early September, relations between Washington and Manila have worsened after Duterte called Barack Obama a “son of a bitch”. Since the Philippine leader had to condemn the us military for the murders committed in the period when the country was a colony of the USA, urged to withdraw American forces from the island of Mindanao, where he participated in operations against armed Islamists.
On Tuesday, the Armed forces of the Philippines distributed by email a statement, which says that relations with the US will remain “consistently strong” and scheduled for this year would be implemented. The military said it had not yet received the order of the President on cooperation with the Americans in Mindanao.
Press Secretary of President Ernesto Abella said Tuesday that the statement Duterte in Mindanao is not the final solution, and the expression of intent. Press Secretary of the Pentagon commander Gary Rossi, commenting on the statement of Duterte on military cooperation with the United States, said that us-Philippine relations for more than 70 years been a Bastion of stability.” He added that the US defense Department will continue to consult with Filipino partners to assist in accordance with the approach which will elect the new administration in the White house.
According to military analyst at IHS Jane’s in Bangkok John Grevatt, States may take diplomatic steps to prevent the Philippines to make major arms purchases from China. He noted that China and Russia will welcome the opportunity to get into the Philippine market Manila if you decide to break with Washington.
The intention to terminate cooperation with the United States patrolling the South China sea is a signal that Duterte wants to improve relations with China, says a senior analyst with the China Institute of international studies under the foreign Ministry of China Shen Shishun. According to him, the Philippines has received little from patrol, but offended the Chinese, with which they could increase business connections. “Duterte drew attention to it and take practical decision”, — concluded the Chinese analyst.