By Francis Wakefield
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the plan of the Department of National Defense (DND) to buy close to P500 million worth of bullets forms part of its replenishment of ammunition lost as a result of internal conflict in various parts of the country.
Padilla made the remark following the DND-Government Arsenal’s plan to acquire P468, 50,000 worth of 5.56 mm rounds of finished components.
“Ang ginagawa nating acquisition sa DND ay parte lamang ng ating patuloy na pag-aangkat o pag acquire ng mga kinakailangan pampalit sa nawawala nating stocks. So ito ay patuloy na bagay. So meron mang giyera o wala, patuloy pa rin itong gagawin at bibilin natin,” Padilla said.
The AFP is currently locked in a tight battle with the ISIS-inspired Maute Group in Marawi City, who attacked the place last May 23, 2017.
As of Thursday, a total of 299 Maute fighters have been killed as a result of intense fighting. On the other hand, 71 government soldiers were slain since last month.
When asked for the cost of the Marawi war the AFP already incurred, Padilla said he could not so far answer the question.
“Iyan ay isang bagay na hindi pa nagagawa…. ang pagsuma tutal ng ating nagastos at ang mga expected expenses na manggagaling sa mga bakbakan na ito. Sa katunayan hindi pa po natin iyan nagagawa (We have yet to do that, to calculate the total expenses),” he said.
According to the DND, the money to be used to buy the bullets to arm the M-4s and M-16 automatic rifles in the AFP inventory will be sourced from the General Appropriations Trust Fund.
The bid opening is scheduled on July 4, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the DND Bids and Awards Committee, Basement, Right Wing, of the DND Building at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
A bid bulletin posted at the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System says winning bidders are required to deliver the items within 180 to 270 calendar days.
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