MANILA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced on Wednesday (10/12/2017) that Russia will donate defense equipments to strength the military fighting pro-ISIS militia.
Duterte said that, in a deal to be signed this month, Russia will provide as many as 5,000 assault rifles. So, the Philippine military no longer has to carry used weapons.
"We will have Kalashnikov rifle," he said during a speech in front of the soldiers. He added that Russia wants the donations to be kept secret.
A gift from Moscow will contribute to China's donations of more than 6,000 assault rifles and 100 sniper rifles.
The series of donations is the result of Duterte's efforts of partnership with the two powerful weapons-making countries, which are the rivals of the United States.
The United States for decades has an allied defense treaty with Philippine as well as a major supply source for military equipment and training. The US since 2000 has provided USD1 billion worth of military equipments. Duterte did not hide his resentment against Washington nor shrink from insulting US military greetings.
A defense official told Reuters that the Russian arms will arrive by the end of this month, during Russia's defense minister attendance of a regional meeting.
The rifles will be accompanied by a further gift from Moscow in the form of millions of bullets and dozens of army trucks.
Military equipments will be delivered using five Russian warships to Manila, the official said. Four of the five warships have already visited the Philippines this year in two different occasions.
Duterte said the military needs sufficient equipments to be able to defend against people who are loyal to ISIS and who have planted their feet in Mindanao in the south.
"They will not disappear, they will be reunited anywhere and everywhere," said Duterte.