Philippine military has no reserve ammunition for use in emergencies

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Unknown to many, Philippine government forces had gone out of ammunition while fighting insurgencies in Marawi last year and when it waged a total war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2000.

Unknown to many, government forces had gone out of ammunition while fighting insurgencies in Marawi last year and when it waged a total war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2000.

Assistant Secretary Manuel Felino Ramos of the Department of National Defense’s Installation and Self Reliance Posture revealed this during a Senate hearing on Tuesday on a bill, establishing a Special Defense Economic Zone in Camp General Antonio Luna, in Bataan.

“I think we have no wherewithal to use our ammunition. We have no ready reserve ammunition for our troops in case of emergency… so we are always dictated by the importation or ammunition supply (from) other countries just like what happened (in) Marawi and other insurgencies that we had since the total war in (2000),” Ramos said, responding to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s queries.

When Gatchalian, who was presiding over the hearing as chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs, asked if there was an instance the military had problems sourcing bullets, the defense official said: “Yes sir in total war in (2000) and the Marawi, Sir. And the bombs we did in Marawi, Sir.”

Ramos refused to elaborate, citing “some security implications.”

Gatchalian went on anyway and asked: “So there was an instance during the Marawi that we could not, no one, we can’t source bullets?”

“Yes, Sir, but we found some allies to supply us, Sir,” Ramos added.

The official also answered yes when asked about the possibility that there would be a scarcity of ammunition in the future and that no other countries would send help to the Philippines.

“There is, just like what happened in our helicopters. They gave some conditions before Canada will supply us helicopters,” Ramos said.

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