ANGELES CITY, Pampanga — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, June 28, led the handover of the military aid package from the People’s Republic of China intended for the counterterrorism efforts in Marawi City.
The Chief Executive inspected the weapons from China, with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua giving him a walking briefing about the firearms.
Among the weapons given by China include TY-85 7.62 mm sniper rifle, CS/LR4A high precision rifle, and CQ-A5 5.56 automatic rifle. China also donated ammunitions.
In his speech, President Duterte recalled that in his first visit to China in October last year, Beijing expressed its willingness to “unconditionally help the Philippines.”
According to the President, when the ISIS-inspired terrorist Maute group launched a rebellion in Marawi City, China reiterated its offer to help.
“As a result, our governments formally entered into two agreements where China committed to turnover 590 million pesos worth of military equipment to help in our campaign against ISIS-inspired terrorist holding up in Marawi, he said.
“To Ambassador Zhao, please relate our sincerest thanks to President Xi Jinping and the government of the People’s Republic of China for its military aid package I will receive today in behalf of the Philippine government,” he said.
Duterte said the military assistance is not only meant to build up the commitment to support each other, but also highlights the dawn of a new era in Philippine-Chinese relations.
At the same time, the President said he also welcomes the help of international partners in rebuilding the Islamic City, as government troops conclude its operation against the remaining terrorists in Marawi.
The Chief Executive expressed optimism that the government can end the “dark episode” and move on to restoring peace and order throughout Mindanao, through the unrelenting efforts of the brave men and women of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police.
In a media interview following the event, the President said the firearms will have to pass the Department of National Defense inventory and will be equally divided as needed by the security forces.
Meanwhile, the President said he will be spending more time in Mindanao because there is still fighting.
“Every now and then, I go to the brigades to check on their morale, readiness and everything,” Duterte said. ###PND