MANILA — There is a chance the weapons and ammunition donated by China would be used in the ongoing efforts to clear Marawi City of the remaining Maute Group terrorists, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, has said.
“Our troops will have no difficulty in using these weapons as their operation is really very simple,” Padilla said in Filipino, adding that the assault and sniper rifles donated by the Chinese government are similar to the ones being used by the military.
He said the weapons and ammunition are being inventoried before they are distributed to the field.
“We need to record them. These are thousands but they come by lot numbers and there are records, so it’s not going to be long before we are able to ship them out (to Marawi City),” Padilla said.
The arms and ammunition arrived at the Harrison Landing Zone in Clark Freeport, on board an Ilyushin IL-76 military plane Wednesday.
They consist of 3,000 rifles with 5 million ammunition, and 90 long-range sniper rifles with 800,000 rounds.
The weapons were formally turned over by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua to President Rodrigo Duterte on June 28.
Duterte earlier said the firearms donation was one of the defense cooperation matters he discussed with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping during his visit to China last October. Priam Nepomuceno/PNA-northboundasia.com