FREE-yes you read that correctly. China will not charge the Philippines a single penny for the 23,000 assault rifles they will give to the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said that the PNP are preparing the papers for the government-to-government project for China to give 23,000 M4 assault rifles to the PNP.
“We will not buy (these). They will give us. I have not signed any agreement but I was just informed we will be given M4s,We will need these because our police stations in far-flung areas in the countryside were overrun by the NPA (New People’s Army) due to a lack of firearms. So, this is good,” PNP Chief Bato told reporters.
This is a welcome development since a few months back the United States of America State Department deferred the sale of 26,000 to 27,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles to the Philippine National Police over the alleged human rights violations brought about the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's war on drugs campaign.
Asked if there is till a chance for the Philippines will still buy the same long arms from the US- “We are 175,000 compared to the 23,000 [rifles] that would be given my China,” Dela Rosa said. “We need more.”
Like the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PNP is also in the midst of their own modernization- arms and equipment to improve its current capability and cope with the activities detrimental to the peace and order of the country by terrorist groups. The assault rifles will fast track the PNP’s Capability Enhancement Program which is geared in addressing the PNP’s firearms shortage.
The PNP Chief told the reporters that the act of the Chinese as a ”gesture of goodwill”.
The PNP Chief was included in the entourage of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during his state visit in Beijing, China last May 14-15, 2017