There was no order from President Rodrigo Duterte to buy weaponry from China but only to go “window shopping” there, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya said on Wednesday.
Visaya said Duterte was just probably misquoted when the media reported that the Philippines was considering buying new weaponry from China and Russia.
“I think the President was misquoted on that. There’s no instruction from our Commander in Chief for us to buy Russian military equipment or from China,” the AFP chief said when he faced his confirmation hearing at the Commission on Appointment’s committee on national defense.
“He (Duterte) just told us that just like any other country, China is offering their military equipment. Then the President said, if you want go there just go there and see. Meaning, it’s just like window shopping. But there’s no instruction for us to buy,” he said.
Duterte was earlier quoted as saying that the Philippine government was considering buying weaponry from the two countries.
“I would like to ask Defense Secretary Lorenzana to, samahan kayo (go with you) – the technical people. Pumunta kayo ng Russia at pumunta kayo ng China at tingnan ninyo kung ano ang pinakamabuti (Go to Russia and China and see what’s best),” one media report quoted him as saying. CDG