By Ali G. Macabalang
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has acquired American-made weapons worth $3.8 million (equivalent to 183 million pesos), the U.S. Embassy in Manila announced recently.
In its statement furnished with the Philippine Muslim Today news on June 22, the embassy revealed that on June 21, officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group – Philippines (JUSMAG-P) delivered $3.8 million worth of weapons and equipment to the AFP at the Clark Air Base.
It said the delivery, which involved funds from the Philippine government and the U.S. grant assistance, included nine M3P .50 caliber heavy machine guns, 10 mortar tubes and other equipment, and was intended to enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism and maritime security capabilities.
“The United States will continue to support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ capacity building efforts through joint training and key military equipment transfers,” the embassy quoted JUSMAG-Philippines Chief and Senior Defense Official to the Philippines Col. Stephen Ma as saying.
“Our mutual security collaboration remains a cornerstone of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Col. Ma added.
The Philippines, the embassy said, is the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific. Since 2015, the U.S. has provided more than Php48.6 billion ($1 billion) in security assistance to the Philippines.
This year, the two allied nations are commemorating 70 years since the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, the US embassy said, adding that the latest delivery would continue as part of “(our) longstanding commitment to our Filipino allies.” (AGM)