That’s ridiculous. The Philippines has a defence pact with the US. It also has no trouble buying arms from the US. This so called loans forces the Philippines to buy military equipments from China, which benefits Chinese arms dealers, and the Philippines has to eventually pay it back somehow.
No, it’s not ridiculous. Duterte is hedging between the US and China, like other countries in the region.
The only geopolitical threat to the Philippines at the present is China. This arms race is like a zebra paying a lion to rent a couple of her cubs for defence. The lion is the only threat to the zebra, and those cubs aren’t going to be of any use once the lion comes for her dinner.
Seems that might not be the case as of last year, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/01/us-halts-sale-of-26000-assault-rifles-to-philippines-police-amid-human-rights-concerns
That happened after Duterte’s pivot towards placating China.
The US no longer has the credibility to enjoy such brand loyalty. Thanks, Obama!
As for paying it back… macreconomics. No politician believes debt owed by government is real.