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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to cancel their planned purchase of some 26,000 M-4 assault rifles from the US. The deal was earlier stopped by the US State Department after a US senator voiced concerns over human rights violations in the Philippines, ABS-CBN reported. “We will just have to look for another source that is cheaper and maybe as durable and as good.”

Duterte earlier this month had said that military officials will look into possible procurement of weapons from Russia or China, according to defenseworld.net.

Meanwhile, Russian Concern Kalashnikov briefed the Philippine Embassy in Moscow on its new and improved AK 47 rifles.

A Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs media release said manufacturer Concern Kalashnikov showed how AK 47 assault rifles has changed and how its improved model “could match and exceed the specifications of its competitors. While there are no definite plans yet to purchase Russian small arms, I believe this briefing can be very useful in any comprehensive assessment of how to address our country’s defense needs,” Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos D. Sorreta was quoted as saying.

Sorreta said details of the briefing, held November 3, will be reported to the DFA with a recommendation that it be shared with other government agencies.

He said “any decision will have to be made by the concerned agencies as end users and also because they have the experience, expertise, and authority to make the necessary determinations”.

Concern Kalashnikov is the flagship of Russia’s small arms manufacturing sector. It manufactures assault and sniper rifles, guided artillery projectiles and a wide range of precision weapons. It produces 95% of the small arms in Russia and supplies more than 20 other countries.

Sorreta said the embassy wanted to know if Russia “would support the Philippines’ own efforts to develop its small arms industry, as they have done in other countries that bought their weapons.” He said they also discussed the possibility of government-to-government sales instead of going through middle men, which can result in inflation of prices.