World Bulletin / News Desk
The United States has deferred shipment of thousands of assault rifles ordered by the Philippines for its police force, a police official said Tuesday at a Senate hearing for the proposed 2018 budget.
The deferment was due to the non-issuance of clearance by the U.S. State Department because of alleged extrajudicial killings and human rights violations stemming from President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.
Police directorial staff Deputy Director General Archie Francisco Gamboa said around 27,000 rifles were set to be delivered to the Philippines.
“But because the State Department had not granted the export permit… that’s why we are contemplating opening the specifications to other platforms so that…other countries can participate in the bidding,” said Gamboa as quoted by Inquirer News.
Gamboa clarified, however, that Manila had not paid for the rifles, but the budget for the acquisition had already been allocated.
Philippine Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said it is not only Washington that can supply Manila with weapons as other countries are also capable or have better equipment.
Following the deaths of at least 7,000 people from both police operations and drug-related vigilante-style killings, US Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland early this year threatened to block the sale of certain U.S. weapons to the Philippine Police as a consequence of Duterte’s "barbaric actions”.
Several U.S. lawmakers and personalities have condemned Duterte over the human rights record in the Philippines.Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2017, 09:38