AFP investigating how guns, bullets were being sold to unlawful groups
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are investigating how weapons with ammunition stamped with military markings were seized from an alleged gunrunner by police in Valenzuela last Sunday.
In an interview, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Benjamin Madrigal said Tuesday, said the firearms are not part of their inventory but they are checking if the ammunition belongs to the military.
“I’ve talked (to)... the commanding general of the (Philippine) Army and then with the Army logistics people. Definitely, the firearms are not part of our inventory but we are still checking the ammunition,” Madrigal said.
Madrigal said they have initial data about the ammunition that were seized.
“So (we are looking into) lot numbers. We have initial (information) but we cannot divulge ( this) for now since we want to capture (those involved),” he said.
Madrigal said the “full force of the law” will be implemented against those who are involved in this underground activity.
“If there is (a soldier) involved definitely (we)... apply the full force of the law. We are professionalizing the Armed Forces and definitely these people have no place in the ranks of the Armed Forces,” he added.
AFP spokesman Col. Noel Detoyato said the military are imposing strict handling and control of their ammunition.
“Periodic inventory and wall-to-wall counting have been regularly done to account for each and every cartridge,” Detoyato said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, there could be unscrupulous individuals in our ranks that could have evaded our system and were able to slip out ammunition from our piles,” he added.
He said they will treat this case as a “valuable lead” to weed out corrupt personnel.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said a joint investigation will be conducted by the National Capitol Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Army’s 7th Infantry Division.
“I have already coordinated with the commanding general of the 7th ID, General Filemon Santos who is my classmate and we agreed to conduct a joint investigation, ” Albayalde said in an ambush interview in Camp Crame.
The NCRPO in an entrapment operation last December 16 arrested an alleged illegal arms dealer believed to have sold guns and bullets to local terrorist and private armed groups. Ella Dionisio/DMS