US has put on hold, the delivery of thousands of assault rifles ordered by the Philippines for its police forces due to alleged extra-judicial killings, human rights violations in drug war.
The US has deferred shipment was put on hold at a Senate hearing for the proposed 2018 budget, an unnamed police official was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency Tuesday.
Police directorial staff Deputy Director General Archie Francisco Gamboa said around 27,000 rifles were set to be delivered to the Philippines.
“But because the State Department had not granted the export permit… that’s why we are contemplating opening the specifications to other platforms so that…other countries can participate in the bidding,” said Gamboa as quoted by Inquirer News.
Gamboa clarified, however, that Manila had not paid for the rifles, but the budget for the acquisition had already been allocated.
Philippine Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito said it is not only Washington that can supply Manila with weapons as other countries are also capable or have better equipment.
Following the deaths of at least 7,000 people from both police operations and drug-related vigilante-style killings, US Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland early this year threatened to block the sale of certain US weapons to the Philippine Police as a consequence of President Rodrigo Duterte’s "barbaric actions”.