President Rodrigo Duterte’s desire to strengthen the country’s defense capability, the president on Sunday said that China has expressed its willingness to provide the Philippines with high-powered firearms on a grant basis payable in 25 years.

President Rodrigo Duterte

“China is pressing me na andiyan na ang armas. Tatangapin ko na eh. Apurado sila,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech during a visit to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Northern Luzon Command at Camp Aquino in Tarlac City.

“Nagkakahiyaan na. Andiyan na ang armas. Gusto na nila ibigay… Mabibigay na iyan. So its obvious na ang China, gusto magbigay sa atin,” said the President, clarifying that the firearms are not free, but payable in 25 years.

“That is practically giving,” I already talked it with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to send men to get the arms, Duterte said.

China’s high-powered firearms - image by tumblr

“Marami pa akong gagawin. Sabi ko na lang kay Defense secretary, sabi ko puntahan mo sila at kunin mo na. I suppose we would send some general to receive,” Duterte said.

“Di na tayo kailangan manghingi pa sa iba because they are willing to give it. ‘Di naman free; it’s a grant actually… It’s obvious na gusto ng China magbigay sa atin,” Duterte added.

However, the President, did not immediately disclose specifics of the firearms deal, including the amount and the number of firearms involved. - JCE