President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, September 4, told Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to acquire military weapons only from Israel during his controversial official visit to the Jewish country.
“My orders to my military is that in terms of military equipment particularly intelligence gathering, we only have one country to buy it from. That is my order, specifically, Israel,” Duterte told Rivlin in a meeting between the two nations.
The Philippines has heavily long depended on the United States of America for military weapons and other equipment.
“America is a good friend but you know, if he would sell you something, he would also be listening,” Duterte said.
“And so with the China and everybody else, Germany. So you can be very sure that they are also amply connected with you,” Duterte added.
Duterte explained that he sees no reason for the Israel government to spy the Philippines even if the country purchase military weapons from the Jewish nation.
“And so Israel I do not see any reason that you would – there would be a problem in our relationship. We are too far away. We do not belong to the sphere of geopolitics here. But we side on what is morally right,” Duterte further said.
Duterte thanked Israel for helping the Philippines fight Islamic terrorist during the five-month Marawi City siege last year.
President Duterte also emphasized the need of both countries to strengthen their counterterrorism cooperation.
On Monday, September 12, President Duterte also paid a solemn visit to Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, defining the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler “insane” as he lamented the genocide of 6 million Jews.
Duterte has gifted Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, apparently, President Reuven Rivlin with oil paintings of their respective faces. —CentrioNews.com