The Philippine - Russian relations is bearing fruit.
Last May, President Duterte made an official four-day visit in Russia, though he had to cut his visit short because of what is happening in Marawi, he still had a last minute meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s Kremlin, just hours before his emergency flight back to the country.
"I'm sad, but what makes me happy that I was able to have a...last-minute meeting with President Putin and I was able to communicate all the things that I wanted to tell him," the President said after the hour long meeting with Putin. *
|President Duterte and Russia's Putin meet during the former official visit in Moscow last May( photo credit to owner)|
Five months after that meeting, the Russian has expressed and is physically helping the Philippines in its fight against terrorism.
Department of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last week said 5,000 Kalasnikov rifles with 1 million rounds of ammunition will arrive in the country next week October 22, along with 20 military trucks.
All of these will be formally turned over to the Philippine government on October 25, and will be used for the government’s counter-terrorism campaigns, said Lorenzana.
"Gusto nilang tumulong sa atin to fight terrorism dahil sila rin kasi also fighting terrorism sa kanilang bansa and they want to help the fight against global terrorism," he said.
The Defense Secretary stressed the weapons will come as a donation and there will be no financial constraint against the Philippines.
President Rodrigo Duterte also mentioned Russia's donation in a speech Wednesday at the groundbreaking ceremony of a housing project called Scout Ranger Ville in Barangays Calumpang and Tartaro in San Miguel, Bulacan.
"We will have the Kalashnikov," Duterte said. The Kalashnikov is a renowned brand of Russian weapons named after Mikhail Kalashnikov, who invented the original Kalashnikov or AK-47 in 1947. It was considered the most popular assault rifle in the world.
In November 2016, Duterte floated Russia as a possible arms supplier for the Philippine National Police after he cancelled an order for 26,000 assault rifles from the United States. *
Sec. Lorenzana also said that the President is open to the idea of the Philippines having a joint military exercises with Russia.
"Ang sabi nila kung wala pang agreement na hindi pa sila makapunta dito, pwede na tayo magpadala sa kanila (They said of there is no agreement yet for them to come here, we can send people there)… First to observe exercises and then later to participate, Lorenzana said.
Report from cnnphilippines.