Plan to buy military equipment from Russia will force US to treat PH fairly

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 October) — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the plan of the Philippine government to procure some military equipment from the Russian Federation would make the US government treat the Duterte administration fairly.

“Baka maging fair na sila sa atin (They might become fair to us),”  Panelo told reporters during a press briefing in Malacañang Monday.

He said the Philippines had been relying heavily on the US for its supply of military hardware.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Photo from the FB page of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson

According to Panelo, the US government, a long-time ally of the Philippines, would be insecure with the country’s latest move to possibly source out new items from Russia.

“Syempre kasi dati dati kasi puro tayo relying on them and suddenly meron tayong ibang bansa na binigyang pansin. Sa mga magkakaibigan, pag nakita mong may bagong kaibigan nawawala ka na sa amin, natural lang yun (Of course, before we were lying so much on them and suddenly we are giving attention on another country. Among friends, when you see your friend mingling with another friend, you would feel you are losing him. That’s just natural),” he said.

But Panelo assured President Rodrigo Duterte would continue to honor the diplomatic ties between the Philippines and the US.

After his five-day official visit from Russia, Duterte said in his arrival speech on Sunday that the Philippines had reaffirmed its “strong commitment to a robust and comprehensive partnership with the Russian Federation on the basis of mutual respect, trust, and pragmatism.”

“And working with Russia, we have achieved much,” he added.

He said during his bilateral meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, both countries agreed to “broaden and deepen our ties in all areas of cooperation — from security and defense to trade and investment, agriculture, energy, science and technology, and socio-cultural exchanges.”

Among the bilateral cooperation agreements signed included peaceful uses of energy, scientific research, health, culture, and foreign policy consultations, according to Duterte.

“These areas are important and therefore part of our comprehensive roadmap to build a partnership with a friend and to secure the Philippines’ strategic interests,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)