Thursday, November 3, 2016

US Halts Sale of Assault Rifles to the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!
"President Rodrigo Duterte, who has displayed animosity toward the United States (US) because of its criticisms of his brutal war on drugs, dismissed Washington’s reported refusal to sell rifles as a mere scare tactic. 
He is saying that if the US won’t sell assault rifles to the Philippines, the country can still fight criminals with airguns and fists. 
The President shrugged off threats that the United States would stop the sale of assault rifles to the Philippine National Police (PNP), saying there are other sources in the market.
"Yan lang pantakot niya sa akin. Hindi sya magpabili ng armas? eh karaming de bomba dito" the President said. 
Translated in English: “Is that it? What? They are not selling us arms? That’s their only way to scare me? That they won’t sell firearms? We have several air guns here,” Duterte remarked. 
PNP chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa also downplayed the US embargo on selling firearms to the Philippine police. Dela Rosa said the PNP would continue its war against illegal drugs and criminality even if it meant coming to blows with drug lords after police have fired their last bullet."
The US State Department halted the sale of the assault rifles citing concern of human rights violations in the Philippines during Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. Duterte reacted calling those behind the decision "fools" and "monkeys" and indicating he might turn to Russia and China instead.
"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, Senate aides told Reuters. 
Aides said Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was reluctant for the United States to provide the weapons given concerns about human rights violations in the Philippines. 
The relationship between the United States and the Philippines, a long-time ally, has been complicated lately by President Rodrigo Duterte's angry reaction to criticism from Washington of his violent battle to rid the country of illegal drugs."
Why are we even buying guns? Guns only provoke further violence and it makes the authorities dependent on the weapons that they also refuse to learn other ways to bring down or capture an opponent or criminal.

Because it is a way to protect ourselves when needed? We cannot fight with arnis, karate or with a fork? It is a symbol for security?

Yeah, maybe. But I do not feel safe and secured when in possession of a gun fearing it might also be the cause of my early demise. If not me, maybe my family, who may accidentally get shot with it while we try to protect ourselves from intruders. They should invent a weapon that would only temporarily paralyze and not kill. My father has one tucked away but easily accessible when needed at one part of our house. There were also several bullets that go with it.

The thought that one will buy guns because others have it gives me the shivers. It will be a never-ending search for security because once the others get possession of better weapons, we would all try to follow to get even. The cycle will never end. The winners here are the gun manufacturers, never the users.

Also, in the middle of a confrontation, once you show up with a gun, and even attempt to use it, you only provoke the others to do the same. Though it maybe stupid to come defenseless, you might be more successful in achieving a truce.

I am sad that the reality we now face is a violent one. Many of us are too greedy or desperate that we would readily kill just so we could get what we do not own. We wouldn't need weapons to protect ourselves if we were contented with what we have.
" I think this is the right moment for Mr. Duterte to more than just consider buying from a national (or local) industrialist instead of going all over the world in search of weapons "systems" that we already have in the country. Not only will the move be a good impetus for this government to support national Filipino industry but it will also have the guarantee of what we call in the defense industry, SECURITY OF SUPPLIES, which is a key factor in weapons acquisition by any country. 
To this end, the Republic has the United Defense Manufacturing Company, which makes NATO-specs assault rifles and 100% Filipino-owned technology. Our government must stand by its mantra that it now refuses "colonial mentality" and should prove that it is prepared to go "local".... 
Time to walk the talk, Mr President and support our own defense manufacturing industry!"

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