MANILA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the Philippine National Police to cancel an arms deal with the United States, saying there is no urgency in acquiring assault rifles at the moment.
Duterte said, "I am ordering the police to cancel the order," referring to the 26,000 assault rifles that have been previously ordered from the United States.
He made the remarks at the Malacanang presidential palace during the signing ceremony of an executive order creating an expanded body that will draft a revised law to create a new Bangsamoro region.
Last week, Duterte lashed the United States for threatening to stop the sale of the rifles to the Philippine police due to what the U.S. called human rights concerns.
The Philippine president said his country "will just have to look for another source that is cheaper, and maybe as durable and as good as those made from the place we are ordering them."
He noted that the Philippines "will not insist on buying expensive arms" from the United States.
"We can always get them somewhere else. Let's forget about it. (From what I know) it would be arriving in July 2017. I am ordering the police to cancel it. We don't need it," he added.
Duterte said there is no "hurry" to acquire those assault rifles anyway.
"You know why? Why should we hurry it? Who are we going to kill by those arms? We don't have enemies. To whom are we going to use those guns for? To kill each other here? So, what's the hurry. I don't have to hurry. I'd buy bullets? What for? For the Filipinos?"
Duterte said that he would rather use the money to promote peace in the country, especially in the southern Philippines.
"(Let us just) contribute (the fund) to the success of the reinvigorated Bangsamoro Transition Committee. No need to buy firearms in the meantime; let us just have a moratorium of violence and maybe we can use the money for some other endeavors," he said.