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Gov’t equips rebel-fighting cops with assault rifles

By Rey Anthony Chiu / Philippine Information Agency TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – Amid the forecast of the spokesperson of the National Task Force for Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) Gen. Antonio Parlade that the end of the decades-old internal conflict with the Communist Party of the Philippines armed wing in the New People’s Army is within the term of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, the government still continues to offer its soft arm for the insurgents.

This after Israeli assault rifles are now made available to police in internal security operations in support of the soldiers in counter-insurgency and anti criminality campaigns.

In his latest visit to Bohol, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar turned over a batch of 60 Gahlil ACE automatic assault rifles that is the much-improved version of the AK 47 which a handful of communist rebels in Bohol keep.

Manufactured by Israel Weapons Industries, the Galil ACE Basic Assault Rifle (BAR) is a modernized AK 47, including reduced weight by introducing polymers, plastics, and shooting accuracy which makes it a better stabilized weapon to shoot with the long stroke piston than the M16 or the standard AR 15.

The newly-shipped Galil ACE N22 BARs, although heavier than the standard M16A1, has a cyclic rate of fire superior than the M16, shoots farther than the AK 47 and can be handled roughly in the field with minimum field stripping maintenance, according to weapons reviews.

Along with the delivery of the modern assault rifles were boxes of 5.56 mm ammunitions, ones that could feed both M16, AR 15 and similar Galils that use the standard ammunitions supplied by NATO member-nations.

“The assault rifles would be prioritized to the police who are involved in internal security operations: those at the Regional Mobile Group who go about sorties in the mountains and the police in the towns with reported presence of insurgents,” said Bohol Police Office-Police Community Affairs and Development head Lt. Col. Joseph Berondo.

The modern weapons for Bohol police form part of the government’s promise to equip the country’s law enforcement officers and the military to boost their morale in fighting the insurgency and criminality, according to Pres. Duterte in his latest State of the Nation Address.

“By providing them with the necessary equipment, by enhancing their professional capabilities, we also inspire them to serve this nation with the highest degree of loyalty and patriotism. We enabled them to carry out their mandate to defeat all enemies of the state whatever the cost,” President Duterte bared in his last SONA.

But instead of going tough and traditional with purely military approach in dealing with communist insurgents, the government also continues its effort to build safe and conflict-resilient barangays and works toward the sustainable rehabilitation and development of communities where the communists used to operate, to win the hearts and minds of communities sympathetic to the rebels' cause.

“Through the NTF-ELCAC, we invested in farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation (systems), health stations, and livelihood (projects),” said Duterte. (RAHC/PIA7 Bohol)



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