Deeper PHL-Russia ties should prompt US to give ‘fair deals’

Deepening ties between the Philippines and Russia could make the United States (US) feel “a little insecure” about its relationship with its only military ally, Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after Duterte arrived from his second visit to Russia last week securing PHP620 million worth of business deals.

“As he said it, ‘I will maintain our relations with the US.’ I don’t think it will be affected. Perhaps if there is any effect, it would be for the better because US would now feel a little insecure about it; where before we tailor our position with that of the United States,” Panelo said in an interview over ANC.

Panelo, however, assured that stronger Philippine-Russian ties will not affect Philippine-US ties emphasizing the President’s policy to be open to other allies as well.

“While he maintains his alliance with the US, he feels that the Philippines has to open itself to all those countries willing to help the Philippines, offer their friendship, so that we can have deals with them – trade and others,” Panelo said.

Panelo said partnerships with other countries would likely prompt the US to give more importance to the Philippines including “fair deals”.

“(US) should be more open into giving us fair deals. Like the complain of the President, he wanted to buy arms from them and choppers, but they refused, because they placed condition, colatillas,” Panelo said.

In 2016, the US State Department halted the sale of firearms to the Philippines over concerns on human rights violations in relation to the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

The Philippines started looking for cheaper arms from Russia and China, two countries that assisted the Philippines when the Marawi siege took place in May 2017.

Last June, Duterte said he is open to buy arms from the US after it stopped its purchase three years ago. PNA.GOV.PH