Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has blamed the United States for trying to hamper the modernization of his country’s army and supplying used military equipment to Manila, according to local media.
“Is that the way you treat an ally and you want us to stay with you for all time? Who are you to warn us?” he pointed out.
Duterte added that if the Philippines buys a submarine from the US, it will “implode, just like the helicopters” that it earlier purchased.
The criticism came after US Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Randall Schriver, cautioned Manila against purchasing Russian military hardware.
“If they were to proceed with purchasing major Russian equipment, I don’t think that’s a helpful thing to do [in our] alliance and I think ultimately we can be a better partner than the Russians can be,” Schriver said.
He made the remarks amid media reports that Moscow had offered the Philippine government its help in purchasing Russian submarines and that Manila is currently considering the proposal.
The deal, in particular, stipulates the allocation of a subsidized loan to Manila, which would be repaid over several years.