PNP chief saddened by reported nixing of US arms sale, to seek help from DFA

Image from Ronald "Bato"Dela Rosa's Facebook Community page
  • Bato Dela Rosa saddened at reported cancellation of arms deal between US and PNP
  • He said he will ask the president’s permission to seek help from the DFA
  • He also said PNP might have to look elsewhere if Duterte does not relent

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa expressed his regret at the reported cancellation of an arms deal involving 26,000 assault rifles with the US after one of its senators said he would oppose the sale.

“Malaki ang epekto kasi sayang. Nakakasa na ang bill. Supposed to be, sa kanila tayo bibili ng mga M4 na i-equip natin sa public safety forces sa PNP [It has a huge effect because it’s a wasted opportunity. The bill is already there. We were supposed to buy M4 rifles that we would use to equip the PNP’s public safety forces],” Rappler quoted him as saying.

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland and a member of the powerful US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, opposed the US State Department’s plan to sell the arms amid concerns of human rights violations in the ongoing war against drugs.

Dela Rosa said he would first ask President Rodrigo Duterte’s permission to appeal to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for help.

“I will ask clearance from the President kung papayag siya na makiusap ako [if he agrees that we appeal to them) through the help of the DFA. Pero kung ayaw ng Presidente, wala tayong magagawa (But if the President doesn’t want this to happen, we can’t do anything about it],” he said.

Dela Rosa added that while the PNP can look to other countries like China for arms, he has doubts as to whether they would be at par with their US counterparts.

“Marami namang iba pang source like China. But when it comes to reliability and dependability, hindi tayo masyado sigurado [There are many other sources like China. But when it comes to reliability and dependability, we aren’t so sure about those],” he said.