Decommissioned weapons are genuine

A MEMBER of the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) has denied allegations that some of the firearms the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has decommissioned are homemade or not genuine.

Retired Lieutenant General Rey Ardo, a member of the IDB, issued the statement over the weekend after Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that 28 of the 75 decommissioned weapons were homemade.

But Ardo said the MILF, prior to the decommissioning, has submitted to the IDB a list of the 75 crew-serve and high-powered firearms that were to be turned in.

He said the seven-man decommissioning body inspected all 75 weapons prior to the actual ceremonial decommissioning of the guns.

“Based on my experience and competency as a retired general of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), these are the original weapons used by the MILF in their fight with the government,” he said.

He also noted the weapons “were clearly not manufactured for the sake of the ceremonial decommissioning.”

The firearms were decommissioned last June 16 in a ceremony at the old provincial Capitol in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. It was attended by President Benigno Aquino III and other top government officials, as well as members of the diplomatic community.

Fifty of the 75 decommissioned weapons consisted of high-powered rifles and 25 crew-served weapons -- mortars, rocket launchers and caliber .50 machineguns.
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