Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday said things could get "worse" for the Philippines as a consequence of President Rodrigo Duterte "killing his own people."

"That's just the start. Things would probably get worse in the coming months as our countrymen get hit from different directions at different levels," Trillanes said in a text message to reporters.

"But to be clear, contrary to President (Rodrigo) Duterte's big lie, the US didn't start this. He did, when he started killing his own people and didn't want to be accountable for it," he added.

Trillanes was reacting to queries on the reported decision of the US State Department to stop its planned sale of firearms to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

A Reuters report said the planned sale of rifles was halted following opposition from Senator Ben Cardin over concerns about alleged human rights violations in the Philippines.

Trillanes earlier called Duterte a "mass murderer" as he sought a Senate investigation on the President's alleged "direct involvement" in killings in Davao City during his term as mayor.

Trillanes' colleagues in the Senate had said that the decision of the US State Department will allow the PNP to look for other firearms suppliers.

Go local on firearms, military equipment

For his part, Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said the PNP should go local, and stop relying on foreign suppliers.

“This is another kind of pivot we need. To tap our domestic industries for the equipment needs of our policemen and soldiers,” Recto said in a statement.
“Hindi naman pwede na mula helmet hanggang boots imported. If some of the things can be made locally and the products are of the same price and quality as the ones bought abroad, then let us manufacture them here,” Recto said.
Recto cited the existence of a vibrant local firearms industry which has been exporting its products for many decades now.
“What is Made in Marikina is as good as what is Made in America,” Recto said, referring to one local gun manufacturing complex in Marikina.
He said the country’s car manufacturing industry can supply military and police vehicles, while the province of Cebu can build coastal patrol ships.
Though many equipment, like planes, can only be bought abroad, Recto said those which can be built here should be given preference.
Recto explained that by buying local, government will be creating local jobs and giving the manufacturing sector a much-needed boost.
“Buy local, create jobs. This should be the new mantra of the DND (Department of National Defense), DOTr (Department of Transportation) and other government agencies for their procurement programs,” the senator said. — RSJ, GMA News


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