Duterte eyes military equipment from Israel

“They will check the possible equipment to help modernize the Philippine Coast Guard and kung may magustuhan, bibili ang government (if they want the equipment, the government will buy)”.

 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wears a bulletproof vest and a helmet as he gives a pep talk to troops fighting the extremist Maute group in Marawi, Philippines August 24, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wears a bulletproof vest and a helmet as he gives a pep talk to troops fighting the extremist Maute group in Marawi, Philippines August 24, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Manila (Tribune News Service) - President Rodrigo Duterte is considering buying modern equipment for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) during his visit to Israel, according to his top aide.
In a media interview, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said PCG commander Elson Hermogino and other PCG officials would join Duterte in his visit to Israel to check various equipment for the agency’s modernization program.
Duterte will be visiting Israel and Jordan upon the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Majesty King Abdullah 2nd of Jordan, respectively.
He will be in Israel from September 2 to 5 and in Jordan from September 6 to 8.
“They will check the possible equipment to help modernize the Philippine Coast Guard and kung may magustuhan, bibili ang government (if they want the equipment, the government will buy),” Go told reporters.
He said the government had allocated P3 billion for the procurement of new equipment and floating assets for the PCG such as ships, patrol boats, weapons and other modern equipment.
“More than P3 billion has been set aside. It will go to the purchase of ships, patrol boats, firearms and other equipment,” according to Go.
He said 10 new 54-meter patrol boats from Japan have just arrived and these would help ensure security of the seas and stop illegal activities.
“The 10 new 54-meter patrol boats just arrived from Japan. These were presented to us when we visited Japan,” Go added.
Go, who was the guest of honor and speaker in the 33rd anniversary celebration of the PCG in Southeastern Mindanao in Davao City, recognized the PCG’s important role in the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs, corruption and crime.
“Thank you for your support. Without you, the government would have a hard time,” the President’s top aide said.
“I ask you to continue to support the President in his campaign against drugs, corruption and crime,” he added.
Meanwhile, Go said he was honored to be inducted as a member of the PCG Auxiliary.
“I am honored, I am proud to be part of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary. We will help maintain our waters, our coastline. We should take care of our waters,” he added.

©2018 The Manila Times, distributed by Tribune Content Agency.