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 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.