"We will not
insist on buying expensive arms from the United States. We can
always get them somewhere else. I am ordering the police to
cancel it. We don't need them," Duterte said in a televised
speech at a event attended by Muslim rebel leaders.
"We will just have to look for another source that is cheaper
and maybe as durable and as good as those made in the place we
are ordering them," Duterte said.
The relationship between the United States and the Philippines,
a long-time ally, has been complicated lately by Duterte's angry
reaction to criticism from Washington of his violent battle to
rid the country of illegal drugs.
More than 2,300 people have been killed in police operations or
by suspected vigilantes as part of government's anti-narcotics
efforts, which was the linchpin of his election campaign.
Last month, Senate aides told Reuters that the U.S. State
Department halted the planned sale of some 26,000 assault rifles
to the Philippines' national police after Senator Ben Cardin
said he would oppose it because of concerns about human rights
Duterte has said in the past that Russia and China had shown
willingness to sell arms to the Philippines.
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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