Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa says, the halted sale of some 26,000 assault rifles by the United States to the Philippines has no effect on PNP's campaign against drugs.
Dela Rosa says, cops can always use short firearms during operations against drug suspects.
“Ang mga pulis, pwede nating palabanin kahit na maliliit na baril. Kahit makipag-suntukan na lang kami,” he notes.
He adds, the long firearms are being used mainly in the fight against terrorists and private armies.
The U.S. State Department stopped the sale after Maryland Senator Ben Cardin criticized the Duterte administration for alleged human rights violations.
Dela Rosa says, the Philippines can always find a new firearms supplier.
He adds, the same types of weapons can be bought in Germany, Belgium or Israel.
Dela Rosa admits, the only downside to this development is the delay in the procurement of the firearms since a new bidding procedure has to be conducted.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier downplayed the implications of the transaction that did not push through.
He said, “karaming de bomba dito. Remember what the Russian diplomat said? ‘Come here. We have all that you need.’”