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The procurement of more than 27,000 assault rifles for the Philippine National Police from the United States will push through, according to PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa said he has clarified the matter with President Duterte during the state visit to Malaysia.
Dela Rosa said he told the President that nobody is blocking the transaction for the procurement of the assault rifles.
“We reported to him that the processing of the documents is going on smoothly according to the Sig Sauer, they saw no one is blocking it,” Dela Rosa said. “So when I explained that to him, he said, ‘Okay, you continue,” he added.
He said the President said that the statement of US Sen. Ben Cardin might have been blown out of proportion.
Cardin was quoted saying that he would block the purchase of the PNP of the assault rifles from the US because of the human rights issues on Duterte’s anti-illegal drugs war.
The statement caused Duterte to flare up and subsequently order the PNP to scrap the deal.
Dela Rosa said that the procurement of the assault rifles will continue, unless the US government or any US official blocks the R1.7-billion deal. (Aaron B. Recuenco)