US delivers P48M worth of new weapons, munitions to PH military

Robie de Guzman   •   July 8, 2021   •   398

MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US) has delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) P48.5 million worth of new weapons and munitions, its embassy in Manila said Thursday.

The delivery, funded by the U.S. grant assistance, included 14 M2A1 .50 caliber heavy machine guns, seven M240B machine guns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

The items were turned over by the US military to the AFP on July 4 at Clark Air Base.

The delivery was intended to enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism capabilities and readiness, the embassy said.

“As the United States and Philippines celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations today, we welcome this key equipment transfer, which will support the continued readiness of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” JUSMAG-P Chief and Senior Defense Official to the Philippines Col. Stephen Ma said in a statement.

The Philippines is the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific.  Since 2015, the United States has provided more than Php48.6 billion ($1 billion) in security assistance to the Philippines, the embassy said.

This year, the United States and the Philippines are commemorating 70 years since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, and this delivery continues the United States’ longstanding commitment to our Filipino allies, it added.

 

US donates 500 shelter-grade tarps for families affected by Typhoon Kiko in Batanes

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The United States government through the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance donated 500 shelter-grade tarpaulins for Filipino families in Batanes whose houses were affected by Typhoon Kiko (International name Chanthu).

The tarps, which arrived on Thursday (September 24), were transported by USAID Philippines partner International Organization for Migration (IOM) Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine Air Force.

Soon, another 450 USAID shelter-grade tarps will be delivered to the province through the assistance of the Philippine Navy.

All tarpaulin shelters will help 500 affected families in the province.

 

Duterte asks PNP, AFP to deploy medical personnel to hospitals needing more staff

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prepare for the deployment of their medical personnel to hospitals that are in need of additional manpower.

“Kung wala nang iba, ‘yung mga nurses sa pulis marami yan, pati sa medical corps ng army. I have to use a little of my influence sa kanila to convince them,” Duterte said in a taped public address aired late Wednesday.

“Please place your human resources on ready, on deck because talagang alam mo yun lang madali kong maasahan,” he added.

Duterte issued the statement after receiving reports that a lot of medical personnel, particularly in St. Luke’s Medical Center were unable to go on duty due to COVID-19 infection.

The AFP said it has started deploying a number of its personnel to some hospitals in Metro Manila as it continues look for more nurses from its ranks.

The PNP, for its part, said it is currently accounting the number of its medical teams that could be deployed to assist medical workers amid rising cases of COVID-19.

Military, police uncover NPA arms cache in Masbate

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Government troops have seized a bulk of war materiel in Masbate province as they continue to hunt down New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists.

On Monday (September 20), government authorities received information from residents in Aroroy about the suspicious materials left behind by the communist rebels in their area.

Responding to the tip-off, elements of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 2nd Infantry Battalion (2IB) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) immediately verified the report.

The troops were able to capture the following:
– one M16 rifle;
– two magazines;
– assorted ammunition;
– one plastic bag containing ammonium nitrate which is the primary component in making anti-personnel mines;
– a dynamite;
– one roll of detonating cord.

There were also some personal belongings along with the said arms haul.

Lt. Col. Siegfried Felipe Awichen, Battalion Commander of 2IB, hailed the vigilance of the Masbateños for the discovery of the war materiel. The public cooperation just proves that the NPA can no longer hide even their firearms.

Meanwhile, Col. Aldwine Almase, Brigade Commander of 903rd Infantry Brigade, said the capture of these firearms is a manifestation of the continuously deteriorating capabilities of the terrorist group especially in the province of Masbate.

“Iniiwan na lang nila ang mga armas nila kasi wala ng magbibitbit dahil kulang na ang kanilang mga miyembro gawa ng sunod-sunod na mass surrender sa Masbate. Muli naming pinapaalalahanan ang naiiwan pang mga miyembro ng komunistang terorista upang sila ay sumuko at magbagong buhay,” Almase said.

Police BGen. Jonnel Estomo, Regional Director of Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5), commended the public’s support which makes the campaign of the government to make Masbate armed conflict-free attainable.

“Hindi po namin makakamit ang sunod-sunod na tagumpay na ito kung wala ang suporta ninyong mga Bicolano,” PBGen. Estomo concluded.

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