Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga
June 28, 2017
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte received the military assistance gratis from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) which included sets of three different firearms (TY-85 7.62mm sniper rifle, CS/LR4A high precision rifle, and CQ-A5 5.56 auto rifle) and ammunitions at Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
The Commander-in-Chief saw the handover ceremony as an act not only to strengthen the two countries’ commitment to support each other during times of need, but also as “the dawn of the new era in Philippine-Chinese relations.”
“When I first visited China in October 2016, our governments agreed on the need to address the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao. Beijing expressed willingness to unconditionally help the Philippines,” President Duterte recalled.
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, PRC donated 3,000 units of M4 type assault rifles with more than 5 million ammunitions, and 90 units of sniper rifles with more than 800,000 ammunitions.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines gratefully accepts these grants. These weapons will also be shared with our brothers in arms, particularly the Philippine National Police, who actively thwart all evil attempts of Maute group in instigating the ISIS-inspired terrorism in our country,” General Año said.
Meanwhile, PRC Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua divulged that the arrival of the arms and ammunitions was only the first batch of the donation. He added that the second batch is being prepared by the Chinese side and will be delivered in several months.
Ambassador Jianhua vowed that the Chinese government and military forces would continue to firmly support the Philippines’ fight against terrorism. According to him, the Chinese side would like to explore on the possibility of joint training and military exercises, and intelligence sharing between the two countries.
After handing over the documents on the military assistance and the symbol of the armaments, President Duterte, together with Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, awarded a plaque of appreciation to Ambassador Jianhua as representative of the PRC. The President also gave the Chinese Ambassador a miniature glass replica of bayanihan, a common Filipino town tradition that signifies unconditional cooperation and camaraderie.