Gov’t troops to get new firearms

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

ABOUT 10,000 Philippine Army soldiers in Western Visayas will receive from the National Government new M4 Carbine firearms to replace the M16-A1 rifles earlier issued to them.

Major General Aurelio Baladad, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, said Friday that the National Government started the distribution of the M4 Carbine firearms last month.

He said the distribution will run until December, and he is hoping that all soldiers will receive new firearms.


"The Philippine Army should have a standard weapon. The M4 Carbine is also the standard weapon of the United States Army," Baladad said.

He said those who will receive new firearms will undergo training on how to use these.

The distribution of firearms is part of the continued modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that President Aquino highlighted during his State of the Nation Address last month.

Other equipment already acquired under his administration were eight W-3A "Sokol" combat utility helicopters, two Hamilton class cutters and one landing craft utility.

The Philippine government has also signed the P18-billion contract for the acquisition of 12 units of Korea Aerospace Industries F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle," which will act as the country's interim jet fighters while waiting for the proper funding and training which will allow it to procure multi-role combat aircraft.

A P4.8-billion contract with the Canadian government for eight Bell 412EP combat utility helicopters was signed as well.

Meanwhile, an officer of 62nd Infantry Battalion who was seriously injured in an encounter with suspected New People's Army rebels in Barangay Dian-ay, Escalante City, last week, is showing improvement in his condition.

Baladad said Friday that First Lieutenant John Rey Espinosa, 27, who was wounded on the head, is still in critical condition though.

"We hope and pray that he will fully recover soon," Baladad said.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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