by Francis Wakefield, Yas Ocampo, and Freddie Lazaro
The government’s bid to combat and wipe out terrorism in the country’s midst got a boost yesterday as the Philippine Marines received new counter-terrorism weapons from the United States in a simple turnover ceremony at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, Philippine Marine Corps commandant, accepted the new counter-terrorism weapons and equipment from officials of the US Embassy and the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG).
“This equipment will enhance the PMC’s counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect Philippine Marines actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines,” the US Embassy statement said.
The weapons and equipment included 300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers were delivered May 18-22 at Clark Air Base. JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) with outboard motors last May 30 to the PMC Headquarters.
The PMC’s Inshore Boat Battalion and Marine Special Operations Group have already utilized 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.
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