By Genalyn Kabiling
SEOUL — Two South Korean companies are interested in establishing a weapons manufacturing facility in the country following President Duterte’s visit to Seoul.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government would study the proposals made by S&T Motiv and Dasan Machineries Co. Ltd. and determine which Korean firm offers the best deal to build and supply firearms to the military and police.
“Two companies, S&T Motiv, one of the biggest manufacturers of firearms here, and Dasan want to transfer technology in the country in cooperation with the government arsenal,” Lorenzana said in Filipino during a media interview at the Incheon airport in South Korea.
“So we will look into which of the two companies offer the best proposal to us. It will depend on our study. If it is good for us, they might put up their plant there to manufacture firearms, ammunition and other equipment,” he added.
Lorenzana said proposed firearms manufacturing facility must meet the needs of the Armed Forces, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, and other agencies before considering any export operation.
“If they have surplus supplies, only then they can export the firearms. That was our discussion,” he said.
“They cannot prioritize the export of products over our local requirements. We will lose if that happens,” he added.
Before flying back to Manila last Tuesday, the President made a private visit to a Korean defense facility to check the Surion helicopters being considered by the Philippine government for acquisition.
Apart from the helicopters, Duterte inspected the firearms and other ammunition developed by the Korean weapon manufacturers.
Duterte earlier said the government was looking into the purchase of Korean helicopters after a botched acquisition deal with Canada over its human rights concerns.