By: Genalyn D. Kabiling
SAN MIGUEL, Bulacan – Russia is expected to give weapons and equipment to the military later this month to boost its anti-terrorism capability, President Duterte revealed yesterday.
At the groundbreaking of a housing project for soldiers here, the President said Russia would give 5,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles to Filipino troops, a military assistance offered during his brief visit to Moscow last May.
“‘Yung dala ko galing Russia, pumunta kami almost just below 24 hours. We will have the Kalashnikov,” the commander-in-chief told the troops.
“So ‘yung ‘pag 5,000 sa inyo, ang baril siguro Kalashnikov na. Mag-aral na lang kayo ng Russian para makumpleto niyo,” he added.
Apart from the Kalashnikov rifles, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Russia will also donate 20 military trucks to the Armed Forces.
A Russian ship will arrive in Manila on Oct. 22 to deliver the military aid package, Lorenzana told reporters in a separate interview here. The turnover of the military equipment will be held on Oct. 25.
Lorenzana said the Russia’s military assistance to the Philippines is part of efforts to bolster anti-cooperation between the two nations.
Meanwhile, the government is aiming to complete a new housing project for soldiers in this province by Dec. 2018.
Duterte made the promise to the troops after leading the groundbreaking rites of the Scout Ranger Ville located in a 50-hectare property in this town.
“We must complete this within at least one year. So by December hopefully, by the grace of God, we will have your units ready,” the President said.
“Gen. Ed del Rosario, sabi naman ni Housing, he will deliver the houses to you December 2018. So, 2018 tapos na ‘yung mga bahay,” he said, referring to Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chief Eduardo del Rosario.