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We have better gunmakers; time to be self-reliant

/ 01:50 AM November 05, 2016

If the country buys AK-47 assault rifles from Russia or China, we will also have to buy ammunition suited for the AK, which we can ill afford.

So, we have to stick to the M4 rifle, which the US government has decided to stop shipping to us because it ties its sale to human rights issues.

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The country will have to rely on its own resources and talents—of which we have plenty—in our search for weapons for our security forces.

We have forgotten that the Philippines has the capability to make weapons that match, or even surpass, the quality of those made in other countries.

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For example, despite government crackdowns, the gunmakers of Danao City, Cebu, have thrived; they make good quality, albeit illegal, firearms.

If the Duterte administration makes the gun-making industry in Danao legal, many expert gunsmiths will come out in the open to help in the manufacture of firearms for our security forces.

Old-timers claim that in the 1970s and ’80s, local gun manufacturer Elisco made M16 assault rifles (forerunners of the M4) that beat those made in the United States.

The firm closed down because of mismanagement.

Copying products from other countries and improving on them is in our DNA.

In place of Elisco, several gun manufacturers have sprung up; like Elisco, they make guns better than those from other countries.

These companies are United Defense Manufacturing Corp. (UDMC), Shooters, Armscor, Ferfranz, Metrillo and Twin Pines.

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They make high-quality pistols and rifles but they are not being supported by the government.

Some of these firms—notably UDMC, Armscor and Metrillo—have been exporting their guns.

Taken together, these firms can supply the Philippine National Police with the 27,000 pieces of M4 assault rifles denied it by the US government.

President Digong, knowing that the country has numerous gunsmiths, can now tell the United States to shove it.

Perhaps the decision by the United States to halt shipment of 27,000 M4 rifles to the Philippines is a blessing in disguise.

Sen. Ralph Recto says the country should start becoming self-reliant in providing guns for our soldiers and policemen.

Relying on ourselves will eventually become a habit.

Who knows, from firearms we might eventually manufacture cars and planes and export them to the United States.

Here are the benefits from the government’s purchase of locally made M4 rifles.

First, concerned agencies don’t have to seek import permits and other requirements which entail a lot of paperwork and are quite cumbersome.

Second, if the locally made M4 is found defective, the manufacturer can immediately send gunsmiths to repair it and learn from the factory defect.

Third, expert gunsmiths will become licensed and improve their craft.

President Digong’s order for the National Bureau of Investigation to probe all government officials and employees for graft and corruption is a tall order.

But NBI Director Dante Gierran said the bureau, though lacking personnel, is up to the job.

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TAGS: AK-47, assault rifles, Filipino arms dealers, Filipino arms manufacturers, Filipino gunmakers, Philippine weapons manufacturing, Ramon Tulfo
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