PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa says, President Rodrigo Duterte has given him the permission to go on with the purchase of over 27,000 assault rifles from the United States for the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Dela Rosa says, “iba na namang ang presidente ngayon. Magkaibigan sila ni Donald Trump (there is now a new president. He and Donald Trump are friends). I have talked with him (referring to Duterte) druing the trip to Malaysia. I said, ‘Sir, the processing of the documents is going on smoothly.’”
“According to Sig Sauer Inc. (the winning bidder), wala silang nakitang harang doon. When I told the President that, he said, ‘okay, you continue,’” Dela Rosa recalls.
Dela Rosa’s statements come, after previous reports said, the license processing for the firearms may be halted by the U.S. State Department due to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s opposition to the transaction.
Cardin had criticized the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs.
The rifles are worth P 64,000 each and the total contract price for the order is P 1.7 billion.
The weapons are expected to be delivered in April next year.