MANILA, Philippines--Senator Manuel ?Mar? Roxas II on Monday asked the Senate to look into Malacanang?s alleged involvement in supplying the Ampatuan clan with high-powered firearms.
Roxas said it was important to find out how the Ampatuans acquired its sophisticated arms cache and ammunition so Congress could come up with stricter legislative measures to regulate government?s procurement of high-powered firearms.
This prompted Roxas to file Senate Resolution 1533 asking the chamber to look into the matter.
?There is an urgent and compelling need to delve into how the Amptuans were able to amass so large an arms cache, how these high-powered firearms and numerous rounds of ammunitions were sourced purportedly through transactions involving PNP (Philippine National Police) and DND (Department of National Defense) officials,? he said in a statement.
In filing the resolution, Roxas expressed concerns over reports indicating that the acquisition of the firearms and the bullets, including 40 Bushmaster assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition of different caliber, were made through legitimate government channels.
He noted the ?trappings and legitimacy? that attended the procurement, citing the purported business transactions between the Maguindanao provincial government, then still under former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., and a government-accredited arms dealer.
The senator also cited reports that most of the firearms that were recovered from the Ampatuan properties had government arsenal markings and that majority of the ammunition recovered had ?Armscorp? and ?DND? markings, showing that these weapons were sourced through and from government.
?We have to immediately stop this seeming ?legitimate? smuggling of high-powered firearms by allies of the administration. Reports of these kinds of activities cause more embarrassment for our country,? Roxas added.