Philippines wants to buy 74,000 M-16 assault rifles from US

MANILA (Xinhua) – The Philippines wants to buy 74,000 pieces of M-16 assault rifles with corresponding accessories from the United States (US), Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said yesterday.

Locsin disclosed the plan after meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell who is in Manila for the 8th US-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue.

“I told him to concretise words of US-PH amity into action is to sell us what US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was told we need and want to buy: 74,000 brand new M-16s – w/3 clips each. And Duterte will finish all security threats to our democracy,” Locsin said in a tweet.

The M-16s are “not a gift, we will pay,” Locsin added. He said the Philippines is waiting for the US to act on the request. “We’re waiting,” he said in the same tweet.

In 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to cancel the procurement of 26,000 assault rifles from the US after he was irked by news reports that the US threatened to stop the sale of the rifles to the Philippine police due to human rights concerns.

File photo shows members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) participate in a simulation exercise in Quezon City, the Philippines. – XINHUA