Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016.
Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016. Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he answers questions from the press at Manila International Airport on March 23, 2017.  
Duterte warned he may impose martial law and suspend elections for tens of thousands of local posts, fuelling concerns about democracy under his rule. Duterte said he was considering both measures as part of his controversial campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in society, and that martial law would also solve a range of other security threats. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS        (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he answers questions from the press at Manila International Airport on March 23, 2017. Duterte warned he may impose martial law and suspend elections for tens of thousands of local posts, fuelling concerns about democracy under his rule. Duterte said he was considering both measures as part of his controversial campaign to eradicate illegal drugs in society, and that martial law would also solve a range of other security threats. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine soldiers ride in the back of a truck as they leave a military camp in Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 25, 2017, to reinforce soldiers at the battlefront in the city centre days after Muslim extremists attacked the city.
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Philippine soldiers ride in the back of a truck as they leave a military camp in Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 25, 2017, to reinforce soldiers at the battlefront in the city centre days after Muslim extremists attacked the city. Philippine troops aboard helicopters and in armoured tanks battled Islamist militants inside a southern city on May 25, as reports emerged of the gunmen murdering civilians. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016.
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PHOTO: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016. Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 20: President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping review the honor guard as they attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on October 20, 2016 in Beijing, China. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is on a four-day state visit to China, his first since taking power in late June, with the aim of improving bilateral relations.  (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Pool/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 20: President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping review the honor guard as they attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on October 20, 2016 in Beijing, China. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is on a four-day state visit to China, his first since taking power in late June, with the aim of improving bilateral relations. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
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Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016.
Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images
Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his first press conference since he claimed victory in the presidential election, at a restaurant in Davao City, on the southern island of Mindanao on May 15, 2016. Duterte vowed on May 15 to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces "shoot-to-kill" orders in a devastating war on crime. / AFP / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his second news conference after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was leading by a wide margin in unofficial tallies but still refuses to claim victory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his second news conference after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was leading by a wide margin in unofficial tallies but still refuses to claim victory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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Story highlights

Reuters reports the US blocked the sale of 26,000 rifles to the Philippines

Report comes as Philippine-US relations have soured

(CNN) —  

Outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had a blunt message for the United States after reports emerged of a potentially blocked arms sale.

“They’re blackmailing me that they won’t sell weapons? We have lots of explosives here,” Duterte said, according to CNN Philippines.

And suggested, the country would turn to Russia for its weapons.

“[I] remember what the Russian diplomat said: Come to Russia, we all have here anything you need.”

The comments were in response to a report from Reuters that the US State Department halted the sale of about 26,000 assault rifles to Philippines police over concerns about the country’s recent human rights record.

State Department Spokesman John Kirby said he could not comment on the arms sale due to federal regulations.

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa said his country will look elsewhere if it can’t buy rifles from the United States.

At a news conference Wednesday, dela Rosa said he had not received official notice the sale had been blocked.

“We really need those firearms for our public safety forces in the PNP,” said dela Rosa, according to CNN Philippines.

The amount of guns is not a huge loss from the Philippines – they can buy guns from other people, says Richard Javad Heydarian, a political science professor at De La Salle University, Manila.

However, it’s clearly a sign the Obama administration is losing patience with the Philippines, Heydarian told CNN.

“It’s a shot across the bow – it’s a warning shot,” he said. “Washington will not turn a blind eye to alleged human rights abuses.”

The war on drugs

Duterte was elected after pledging to wage an all-out war on drugs.

Since he’s taken office, the country has seen a sharp rise in violence and extrajudicial killings.

Duterte’s war on drugs has drawn the ire of the international community, but he remains an incredibly popular President with high approval ratings.

Another bedrock of Duterte’s time in office – a shift in the country’s international alliances.

Duterte has brought his country closer to China and Russia while vowing to distance the United States.

Philippines’ Duterte to US: ‘Do not make us your dogs’

China and the Philippines recently struck an agreement on fishing rights to a disputed shoal in the hotly contested South China Sea.

Duterte dumps the US: What could be lost?

Duterte has hinted in the past that he’s keen to strengthen Russian-Philippine ties.

He’s also said that Russia could serve as an alternative arms supplier.

CNN’s Janie Octia contributed to this report