Philippine economy

LOOK: AFP guns, ammo found with rebel groups suppliers

Rambo Talabong

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LOOK: AFP guns, ammo found with rebel groups suppliers
Police confiscate guns and ammunition worth up to P1.2 million in boxes marked 'Philippine Army'. These are seized from alleged smugglers for the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf Group

MANILA, Philippines – When cops arranged for a buy-bust operation on alleged arms suppliers of rebel groups in Mindanao, they never expected to find the bullets inside boxes issued for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Their catch has startled the most senior generals of Camp Crame, with even police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde saying that the military should be “concerned” about the seizure.

The ammunition was found inside wooden boxes labeled “AFP,” “GOVERNMENT PROPERTY,” and “PHILIPPINE ARMY.”

Nonetheless, they moved forward with presenting the evidence on Monday, December 17— even without speaking in length with their colleagues at Camp Aguinaldo.

According to the alleged gunrunners, they got the equipment from a “retired soldier” who used to be based in major military camp Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.

Cops refused to name the soldier, veering away from making an unverified announcement.

The Philippine National Police currently suspects that the guns and bullets from the AFP’s armory were either smuggled out in batches by a former serviceman, or someone from among the suspects had a connection with an active officer. 

Here are photos from the presentation:

Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

PNP Photo

PNP Photo

Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler


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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.