The Daily Manila Shimbun


Marines formally accepts new counter-terror weapons, equipment from US

June 5, 2017

The Philippine Marines has formally accepted new counter-terrorism weapons and equipment from United States in a ceremony in Taguig City on Monday morning. In a press release, the United States Embassy said the new counter-terrorism weapons and equipment were formally received by Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat during the turnover ceremony at the PMC headquarters. “Officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) turned over weapons and equipment delivered recently under the US government’s Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program at a ceremony at PMC Headquarters,” it said. “This equipment will enhance the PMC’s counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect Philippine Marines actively engaged in counter-terrorism operations in the southern Philippines,” it added. Captain Ryan Lacuesta, Marines spokesman,  emphasized the importance of the newly-accepted equipment. “This equipment will further enhance the capabilities of the Philippine Marine Corps Counter Terrorism units in addressing different threats posed by different terrorists and other threat groups,” he said. Salamat said the newly-accepted equipment will be provided to the ground troops especially to marine forces in Marawi City. “We will give this to our troops, priority troops in Marawi,” he said. The new counter-terrorism weapons and equipment that were transferred to the PMC “includes 300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, four M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers delivered May 18-22 to Clark Air Base.” “JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) with outboard motors May 30 to PMC Headquarters,” the embassy noted. It also noted the “Philippine Marines Inshore Boat Battalion and Marine Special Operations Group have already employed previous US 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 of military equipment to the Philippine Marine Corps and other branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to enhance counterterrorism capabilities,” it said. “In addition, the AFP has procured small-arms weapons, water craft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and personal protective equipment as part of the US government’s Foreign Military Sales system and other programs. Over the last five years, the US government has allocated P15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with equipment, including corresponding upgrades and training,” it added. The US embassy also emphasized that these “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.” (Robina Asido/DMS)