TIME Philippines

Washington Halts Sale of Assault Rifles to the Philippines

Ted Aljibe—AFP/Getty Images Philippine military personnel display their newly acquired M4 assault rifles during a distribution ceremony at Fort Magsaysay army training camp in Nueva Ecija, north of Manila, on Sept. 4, 2014

The brutal war on drugs in the Philippines has sparked serious concerns in the U.S.

A major sale of assault rifles to the Philippines has been stopped by Washington after a Senator reportedly expressed concern over human-rights violations in the Southeast Asian nation.

According to Reuters, staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told the U.S. State Department on Monday that Senator Ben Cardin — the committee’s top Democrat — was opposed to the sale of up to 27,000 assault rifles to the Philippines, where thousands have been killed in a savage, extrajudicial war on drugs.

Relations between Washington and Manila have been tense following a series of bizarre pronouncements from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has told President Barack Obama to “go to hell” and called the U.S. leader a “son of a whore.”

Last month, the Philippine strongman told Chinese state television that U.S. criticism of his war on drugs had soured relations. He also announced his “separation” from the U.S. and said that he wanted American troops to leave the Philippines.


Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team