Philippine Army: Seized guns, ammo from Maute suppliers not from AFP
MANILA, Philippines — The P1.2 million worth of firearms and ammunition seized from suspected Maute “gunrunners” and were allegedly smuggled by the military turned out to be from a commercial source, an investigation of the Philippine Army revealed.
Army’s 7th Infantry Division chief public affairs officer Lt. Col. Eugenio Julio Osias said Thursday that based on the inspection, the serial numbers in the confiscated arms cache did not match those issued to the Philippine Army.
“Tapos na ang investigation namin sa 7ID (Infantry Division). Negative na galing sa amin ang baril at bala. Sabi mga commercial source ang baril. Yung sa bala naman ay walang lot number na ganun na issued sa 7ID,” he said.
(Our investigation at the 7ID was completed. The guns and bullets did not come from us. The guns are from commercial sources. The lot numbers of the bullets did not match those issued to 7ID.)
Last December, a couple accused of selling firearms and ammunition allegedly smuggled by the military to the extremist groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups were arrested in an entrapment operation along North Luzon Expressway.
The suspects — Edgardo and Rosemarie Medel — said the firearms and ammunition came from the 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.
The arms cache consisted of unregistered assault rifles, a handgun, and almost 13,000 rounds of ammunition for light machine guns and assault rifles.
The wooden crates where the bullets were stored bore the markings “AFP,” “PHILIPPINE ARMY,” “GOVERNMENT PROPERTY.”
“Yung markings pwede i-fabricate lang. Saka yung lalagyan hindi official crate ng Army. Yung amin ay green boxes. Basta we are sure na walang na-issue sa amin na ganung lot numbers at kumpleto ang inventory ng mga firearms namin,” Osias said.
The markings can be fabricated as well. The box is not the official crate of the Army. Ours are green boxes. We are sure that we were not issued those lot numbers and our inventory of firearms is complete.)
He said they are helping other agencies to investigate the incident under the guidance of 7th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen Felimon Santos Jr. /ee
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