On Friday, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte thanked the China and Israel for providing military assistance for the clearing operations in Marawi City. And then he gave a back-handed compliment to the US for “loaning” military equipment to the Philippines Army, which he then claimed they returned.
Duterte, making his remarks before the 43rd Philippine Business Conference and Expo concluding ceremony, also made the claim that the sniper rifle that killed Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was made in China, adding that the bulk of weapons used in Marawi came from the Chinese.
“It was only China who gave it on time and plenty,” Duterte said.
The president, meanwhile, said that the equipment provided by the US was only borrowed and were already returned.
“So I said, the countries helped us. China. We needed it badly, you gave it to us. Thank you very much and President Xi Jinping. And of course the Americans just provided the — we just borrowed it, we have returned it already,” the president said.
“They are not willing to give it to us unlike China,” he added.
The PhilStar debunked all of his claims stating that after checking with US government officials, the US provided a major grant of arms and munitions worth at least P250 million last May, about the time the conflict in Marawi started.
“In May 2017, a major grant of 200 Glock pistols, 300 M4 carbines, 100 grenade launchers, four mini-guns and individual operator gear worth P250 million was delivered,” US Embassy press attache Molly Koscina told Philstar.com.
In January 2017, the U.S. delivered a Raven tactical UAV system worth P60 million.
The US also provided P250 million worth of aid consisting of 25 combat rubber raiding craft and 30 outboard motors to support the Philippine Marine Corps.
In July, the US officially turned over two C-208 Cessna aircraft worth P1.6 billion to the Philippine Air Force. The surveillance aircraft were used to help in fighting against ISIS-inspired militants in Marawi City.
In August, Washington transferred a radar system to the Philippine Navy, which would enhance its maritime surveillance capabilities.
All of the above mentioned were major grants of the US to the Philippines, disputing Duterte’s remarks that the equipment were only borrowed.
The US, thru USAID, is also giving millions of dollars of Humanitarian Aid as well. Thus far totaling over $14 million US or P370 million.
To read the entire article from The PhilStar, click here:
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
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