50,629 assault rifles defective — military

The Armed Forces of the Philippines  has  50,629 pieces of M4 assault rifles in its arsenal but these are defective and could not be used  by government soldiers, a military spokesman said on Tuesday.

The  rifles valued at P1.9 billion were supplied by the United States-based Remington Outdoor Company but the company still has to replace the defective weapons,  according to Col. Noel Detoyato,  AFP  public affairs chief.

In this file photo, President Benigno S. Aquino III hands over one of the M4 assault rifles to an Army soldier during  the ceremonial distribution held at the AFP General Headquarters on August 14, 2014. Malacañang Photo Bureau 

In August last year,  the military handed  27,000 pieces of M-4 rifles  to the Philippine Army  and Marines  in ceremonies attended by President Benigno S. Aquino III at  Camp Aguinaldo.

After a  technical inspection, the military’s acceptance committee rejected the rifles due to defective sights and barrel grooves, Detoyato said.  He did not say when Remington would  replace the   rifles.

“The supplier  (Remington) has  to correct this  before the technical inspection and  acceptance committee (TIAC) will give the go signal for us to accept,” Detoyato said.

Of the  50,529 M4 rifles, at least  44,186 rifles were set aside for the  Army and another 6,443 for the Marines.

Remington sold theM-4  rifles to the AFP  for P38,402  apiece under the Joint  Army-Marine Corps. Assault Rifles Acquisition Project.

The military said  it saved P1.2 billion  from the deal and vowed to  use the savings to buy additional weapons as part of the AFP modernization.

The first batch of 100   rifles   was delivered on July 5, 2014 and the second batch of 27,200. The remaining 23,329 units were supposed to be delivered in December 2014.

Soldiers of the 7th infantry division based  on  Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija received an undetermined  number of the M-4 rifles which were covered by the recall order, sources said.