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.
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.
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.
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.