Duterte says US offering Philippines to buy military hardware
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that the United States was offering the Philippines to buy from them military hardware, including F-16s.
The offer was made by the US through its three Cabinet officials in a letter sent to the Philippine government.
"The US-Philippines alliance is an enduring partnership, built on shared history and values. This special relationship will only grow stronger by increasing our dialogue especially on security cooperation and trade," Duterte said in a speech quoting a letter allegedly coming from US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Duterte delivered a speech during the 12th anniversary of the military's Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City.
Duterte if the Philippines would acquire F-16s from Washington, it has to prove first that it could deliver.
"Prove to me first that you are in utter good faith," he said.
He said US is like the Philippines that whenever some lawmakers make criticism, the delivery of the armament would be suspended.
Duterte added that he wants to meet first the US officials who were making the offer. But he said he would not go to US.
The supposed Washington offer was made after US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver, in a recent visit to Manila, warned the Philippines against purchasing military hardware, including submarine, from Russia. Celerina Monte/DMS