Philippines' Duterte Touts Israel as 'the Only Country' to Buy Arms From

© AP Photo / Bullit MarquezPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, holds an Israeli-made Galil rifle which was presented to him by former Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa. File photo
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, holds an Israeli-made Galil rifle which was presented to him by former Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Bato Dela Rosa. File photo - Sputnik International
On September 2, Rodrigo Duterte started his four-day official visit to Israel, the first by a Philippine president since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1957. The schedule includes a visit to a display of advanced weapons and equipment organized by the Israeli Defense Ministry.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that his country will only purchase weapons from Israel due to its lack of restrictive measures pertaining to such deals, according to i24NEWS.

"My guidelines for military officials dictate that in the field of army equipment and weapons, there is only one country to buy from — that is Israel,"  the Israeli media outlet cited Duterte as saying during his meeting with Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin.

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He also touted the United States as "a good company" in this vein, but added that "if we buy from them, there are limitations, same with China and Germany."

In mid-August, Duterte blamed the US for trying to hamper the modernization of his country's army and supplying used military equipment to Manila.

"Is that the way you treat an ally and you want us to stay with you for all time?  Who are you to warn us?" he pointed out, in a nod to a previous warning by Randall Schriver, US Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, that  Manila should not buy Russian military hardware.

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In July, an Israeli weapons manufacturer reportedly sold hundreds of assault rifles to anti-drug police in the Philippines. The deal was preceded by Duterte's remarks that he would be "happy to slaughter" three million drug addicts amid the ongoing crackdown on narcotics trafficking in the Philippines, which have already claimed the lives of more than 4,000 people.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses Filipino Overseas Workers who were repatriated from Kuwait, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines - Sputnik International
Arms Deals and Oil Top Agenda of Duterte's Visit to Israel - Reports
The Philippines President repeatedly touted Israel as an alternative supplier of weapons in the wake of Washington's decision to stop supplying arms to Manila due to its alleged human rights violations.

One of the world's top arms dealers, the Jewish state started to develop defense ties with the Philippines in 2017, when the two counties inked a 21-million-dollar deal whereby Manila purchased Israeli radar and anti-tank equipment.

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