New counter-terrorism weapons and equipment were turned over Monday by the United States Embassy military representatives to Philippine military officials.
Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat told reporters: “We will give these to our troops, priority troops in Marawi.”
Officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) turned over weapons and equipment delivered recently under the US government’s ‘Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program.’
These include 300 M4 Carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers.
On May 30, JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) with outboard motors to PMC Headquarters.
The equipment are expected to enhance the PMC’s counter-terrorism capabilities, and help protect Philippine Marines actively engaged in counter-terrorism 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 AFP to enhance counter-terrorism capabilities.
Over the last five years, the US government has allocated P15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with equipment, including corresponding upgrades and training.
Gen. Salamat said the equipment are part of the long standing cooperation with their US counterpart.
“We are just continuing our cooperation and engagement and this is also a product of long years of hard work. This agreement has been worked on since 2013 so it’s a product of a long cooperation even before my predecessor,” he said.
He added that they do not meddle with any political condition so their cooperation stand strong with the US or with their US counterpart.
“Regardless of the administration, this support continues on to the Philippines,” he said.