U.S. Halts Sale of 26K Assault Rifles to Philippines Cops
The U.S. State Department halted the planned sale of 26,000 assault rifles to Philippines national police forces, Senate officials confirmed to Reuters on Monday. The cause for the holdup: concerns about human-rights violations in the Asian archipelago-nation and its violent war on drugs, spurred on by new President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial rhetoric and commitment to violent methods of confronting criminals. According to TheGuardian, “more than 2,300 people have been killed in police operations or by suspected vigilantes in connection with the anti-narcotics campaign since Duterte took office on 30 June.” The planned deal between the U.S. and its longtime ally was effectively halted after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee informed the State Department that its ranking Democrat, Ben Cardin of Maryland, would oppose the transaction.