CLARK FREEPORT – Assault rifles and crates of high-powered firearms intended for the Armed Forces of the Philippines were among military wares delivered recently by the US government via Clark Freeport apparently for use of the troops in war-torn Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, the US Embassy said in a statement.
“Officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) turned over weapons and equipment delivered recently under the U.S. government’s Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program at a ceremony at PMC Headquarters,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
The equipment will serve as a booster to the Philippine campaign against terrorism and enhance its capabilities in counterterrorism operations particularly in Southern Mindanao.
The combat weapons and equipment include 300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers delivered last May 18 to 22 to Clark Air Base.
JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) with outboard motors May 30 to PMC Headquarters. The PMC’s Inshore Boat Battalion and Marine Special Operations Group have already employed previous U.S. Counterterrorism Train and Equip gear in ongoing combat operations in the southern Philippines.
Since 2007, representatives from JUSMAG have delivered and programmed P7.3-billion in military equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Over the last five years, the U.S. government has allocated P15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with equipment, including corresponding upgrades and training. The equipment transfers and continued bilateral training and exercises demonstrate the commitment of the United States to work with the Philippines towards building safer communities and eradicating global terror networks,” the US Embassy stated further.
Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat accepted the combat weapons and equipment from United States Embassy military representatives during a transfer ceremony.
Hundreds of fatalities from both government and enemy sides littered Marawi City suburbs since first day of siege. Indonesian terrorists, believed to have sneaked via southern door, were among those found dead.