MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines should test the firearms that were donated by the Chinese government for compliance with its standards, the chair of the House committee on national defense said Friday.
The donation of artillery "must be acknowledged as a gesture of friendship and accepted with appreciation," but the military should ensure that the rifles match the standards that it imposes on weapons it procures for the use of its fighting units and soldiers, said Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon.
Biazon explained that the accuracy, endurance to harsh conditions, reliability over extreme use, compatibility with regularly supplied ammunition and existing spare parts, and ease of use by operators should be tested using the prescribed procedures and standards imposed by the AFP on all its purchased weapons.
"This testing is in the interest of the AFP, in order to ascertain that the use of these donated firearms will be effective and safe for use by our troops," he said in a statement.
"We should not compromise the fighting effectiveness and safety of our soldiers. They cannot afford to have their weapons fail on them in the crucial moments of battle," he added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday accepted the military assistance gratis from Chinese Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua.
The aid, with estimated worth of P168 million, came in the form of 3,000 rifles and their corresponding ammunition (5.56mm) and 30 pieces of sniper scopes, which will be given to the Philippine National Police.