19 May 2017

News Story: (Philippines) Government cautioned on China’s $500-M loan offer

By Paolo Romero

MANILA, Philippines -  Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto cautioned the Duterte administration yesterday against its reported plan to take the $500-million loan being offered by the Chinese government to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

As this developed, the Philippine National Police said the government of China will be donating 23,000 M4 rifles to the agency to boost its operational capabilities in the countryside.

For her part, detained Sen. Leila de Lima sought an inquiry into the $167-billion infrastructure project of the Duterte administration that would be financed through foreign loans, mostly coming from the Chinese government.

“We must stop relying on foreign suppliers to modernize the… equipment of our armed forces,” Recto said, after hearing Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statement that the country plans to avail itself of the loan to procure defense equipment from China.

“There is no need to borrow from China. We should tap our domestic industries for the equipment needed by our policemen and soldiers,” he said.

Recto cited the existence of a vibrant local firearms industry, which has been exporting its products for decades.

“Some of them (are) licensees of (the) world’s leading gun makers,” he pointed out.

Read the full story at PhilStar