IT APPEARS that the United States is starting to flex its muscle in showing to the Philippines who is the boss in this part of the world.

This after the planned sale by the US of some 26,000 assault rifles to the country’s national police was halted when Sen. Ben Cardin said he would oppose the move over concerns on human rights violations in the Philippines.

Earlier, the San Francisco Police Department also decided to stop training with Filipino cops on similar suspicions of their involvement in the summary killings of suspected drug personalities.

The twin moves would surely impact the country’s police capability buildup since the PNP is losing the opportunity to train with their US counterparts while also being denied with high powered firearms to fight criminals and organized gangs.

Be that as it may, it is high time that the Philippine government under President Duterte proves to the US that we can indeed stand on our own, and that he meant what he say when he recently declared that he was adopting an independent foreign policy stand.

One good thing that can come out of the US decision is that the government might now be forced to fully support our local firearms manufacturers for us to lessen our reliance on foreign weapons makers.

As we all know, firearms manufacturing is a big industry in other countries especially the US, Russia, China, France, Italy and many others as it generates billions of pesos for their respective economies.

There are even persistent rumors that some arms exporting countries actually participate in agitating and even initiating conflicts between countries to start a war for them to showcase and test their weapons in actual combats.

If other countries can manufacture state of the art high powered firearms, then it is about time that we do it in our country, which in the process would even generate jobs for our countrymen.

We are not lacking in talent and knowhow but what our local manufacturers lack for the longest time is the full support of the government.

And if President Duterte is indeed serious in taking an independent policy stance, then he can start by providing full support on our local manufacturers not only of guns but also even of fire trucks, but in the near future also of battleships  and even of battle tanks.

That may sound too ambitious but we have to always take the first steps somewhere if we really want to reach our destination.