21 Desember 2016
China offer fast craft for free to Philippines (photo : JCG)
China has offered to provide $14 million worth of small arms and fast boats to the Philippines for free, aiding President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs and fighting terrorism, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Tuesday.
The offer was made by China's Ambassador Zhao Jianhua during a meeting with Duterte late on Monday night at the presidential palace, Lorenzana said, adding Beijing has also made available $500 million long-term soft loan for other equipment.
"China has given us a list of military equipment and we will go through it to find out what we really need," Lorenzana told reporters after giving out Christmas gifts to wounded soldiers at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in Quezon City.
"Natuloy ang meeting namin kasama si Presidente, ako, saka yung Chinese ambassador. Tinatanong niya sa amin kung ano yung kailangan namin na pwede nilang ibigay,” Lorenza said.
"Ito ay bigay, worth 100 million yuan which is equivalent to P720 million. So meron silang listahan na nasa amin na, titingnan kung anong equipment na nandun na pwede. Kaunti lang naman siguro, it’s only about $14.4 million worth of grant."
"We might get some small arms, fast boats and night vision goggles because $14.4 million is not that much. We will finalize the deal before the end of the year and a technical working team will soon go there to look at the equipment," he added.
Lorenzana said they hope to get the Chinese armaments by the second quarter next year. "The Chinese ambassador last night told the President, I know your problem in drugs so we would like to help you," he added.
At the same time, Lorenzana said China is also offering soft loans initially worth $500 million for big ticket items but they will discuss first what these items will be.
"Initially sabi nila gusto nila tayong bigyan ng $500 million worth of loan, long term soft loan…kung kailangan pa natin ng equipment pwede tayong umutang sa kanila, soft loan," he said.
Lorenzana said the Chinese government wanted to help the Philippines in its fight against terrorism and drugs.
Asked is the two officials discussed the development on the South China Sea, Lorenzana answered in the negative. They also did not discuss the unmanned underwater vehicle of the United States seized by Chinese authorities.
See full article GMA