US offers F-16, attack helicopter platforms to PHL

The United States government through US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has offered to supply Lockheed Martin F-16 multi-role fighter platform and attack helicopter platform among other US systems to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

This was revealed by President Rodrigo Duterte during the 12th founding anniversary celebration of AFP Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) on August 23 at Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Covered Court, Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City.

The offer was made through a letter sent to President Duterte.

“We are writing you to reaffirm this administration’s strongest support for your efforts to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines and our commitment to continue to work with your Congress to support the strategic endeavors, recent decisions to procure and grant upgraded surveillance and aircraft system such as Bell combat utility helicopters and ScanEagle, Gulfstream and Cessna 208 aircraft exemplify our continuing commitment for the breadth and strength of our alliance,” the three US Cabinet Members said in the letter as read by President Duterte.

“We know however that our nations can do even more to integrate our economic and security concerns, especially we hope to partner in other significant defense procurement of our mutual benefit including through the Lockheed Martin F-16 multi-role fighter platform and your attack helicopter platform among other US systems,” Ross, Mattis, and Pompeo said.

President Duterte said the United States is peerless, walang katumbas, supplier of state-of-the-art technology with a proven track record and a long-term reliable partner.

“For example, in supplying precision-guided munitions used during the operations in Marawi,” he added.

The President said “we hope you share our view that our nations selection of US partners of this future defense procurement is mutually advantageous and strategically important way to strengthen and
deepen a steadfast bound – bonds.”

“I have nothing against America and I’m sure wala rin kayo. Wala tayong dynamics dito. But mine is more of just the – what is the reality on the ground,” he noted. “Ngayon bumabawi sila, three Cabinet members in one letter. Ewan ko kasi ako nag-distansiya talaga.”

“It started with the extrajudicial killing and they ganged up on me, US – ‘yung US Human Rights Watch and kung ano-anong ka****han na ginawa nila sa akin. Initially pinahiya nila ako. And even President Obama in just a press briefing criticized our country and me and insulted me before the public community,” he said.