Philippines has received some 3000 assault rifles, 90 long range sniper weapons along with respective ammunition donated by China to fight the Maute terrorist group which has laid siege to Marawi city for more than two months.
The arms and ammunition was delivered at the Harrison Landing Zone, Clark Freeport, by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua to President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday, China military online reported Thursday.
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the firearms donation is one of the defense cooperation matters discussed by the People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping in his visit to China last October. The latter is part of the military package to the Philippines, in relation with the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao.
“These rifles and ammunition are (a) welcome addition to the existing materiel in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Likewise, these will certainly improve the capabilities of our Armed Forces for the internal security operations particularly in the southern part of the country," the DND chief was quoted as saying.
Marawi city witnessed the six-week long conflict when the country’s military and police units tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS "Emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.