House Appropriations Committee chairman Karlo Nograles directly asked the Department of National Defense to verify reports that the seemingly limitless ammunition used by the Maute group in Marawi City came from Limay, Bataan and from private manufacturers.
Photos of the ammunition boxes that were recovered from the areas retaken by government troops during the clearing operation were seen with “Government Arsenal” markings.
The congressman made his concern known that government-manufactured firearms and ammunitions which might have been sold by corrupt military officials in the past.
|Retrieved ammunition from the Maute terrorists by government troops with "Government Arsenal" markings (photo credit from CNN Phil Twitter page)|
"The worst thing that we can have is magkaroon tayo ng mga ganitong encounters tapos ang ginagamit na bala ng mga kalaban natin ay galing sa government arsenal," he said.
Department of National Defense Secretary Delfine Lorenzana did not categorically deny the allegation.
Lorenzana admits that during the retaking and clearing of the troops form the battle zone they found ammunition boxes with Armscor Philippines markings.
Government Arsenal chief retired Major General Jonathan Martir stated that his office could no longer monitor the distribution of the ammunition from their facility since all of those are turned over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Logistics Command (AFP-LOGCOM).
Last June, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen Restituto Padilla was quoted saying that: "Police stations and jail facilities are known to have armories and these installations were among the first to be attacked by the Maute Group terrorists during their initial onslaught. It is very likely that these weapons and bullets (with GA markings) could have been stolen by the terrorists,".