False claim on rifles bought during Aquino term revived


A website has revived a Facebook post that contains fabricated content accusing President Benigno Aquino III’s administration of buying defective M4 rifles for the armed forces.


The headline of a Sept. 30 article by Pinas Trends reads:

HULI NA! MGA DEPEKTONG RIFLES NA NAGKAKAHALA (sic) NG ₱1.9 BILLION NA BINILI UMANO NG AQUINO ADMIN NADISKUBRE (Caught! Defective rifles worth P1.9 billion allegedly bought by Aquino administration discovered)!

The story was reposted on June 5 and Aug.17, according to fact-checking website Vera Files. It shared an incomplete screenshot of former broadcaster Jay Sonza’s FB post from Nov. 22, 2017.


Sonza’s original post alleged:

  • Almost 61,000 M4 rifles worth P1.9 billion were dumped somewhere because they are all defective,

  • Gun manufacturer Remington was given three months to repair the defective firearms.

  • The guns will be sold to junk shops by the kilo, or through the blackmarket.

  • News reports confirm that Remington Arms Co. delivered defective rifles, but contrary to Sonza’s claim, delivered 44,186 defective rifles beginning June 2014, not 61,000.

  • The firearms manufacturer took a year to repair the guns as opposed to Sonza’s claim of three months, reports said.

Under the Joint Philippine Army–Philippine Marine Corps Assault Rifle Acquisition Project, the AFP ordered 50,000 M4 assault rifles worth P1.9 billion. Each costs around P38,000.


The repaired guns were eventually redistributed to military troops such as the 7th infantry division based on Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.


The Pinas Trends article has been shared in August by numerous Facebook pages such as Duterte and Marcos Unite Supporters and Solid Duterte-Marcos Supporters. (EB)


References


Aurelio, J.M. (2015, August 25). AFP accepts over 40K M4 Remington rifles after US firm corrects over 20,000 units. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://globalnation.inquirer.net/127678/afp-accepts-over-40k-m4-remington-rifles-after-us-firm-corrects-over-20000-units


Mangosing, F. (2015, August 25). Defective Army M4 rifles corrected, ready for re-issuance – AFP. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/716199/defective-army-m4-rifles-corrected-ready-for-re-issuance-afp


Philippine Daily Inquirer (2014, August 10). AFP to get 50,000 assault rifles under modernization program Tuesday. Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/627856/afp-to-get-50000-assault-rifles-under-modernization-program-tuesday


Pinas Trends (2019, September 30). Huli na! Depektong Rifles na Binili Umano ng Aquino Admin, Nadiskubre! Retrieved from http://www.pinastrends.xyz/2019/09/huli-na-mga-depektong-rifles-na.html


Solmerin, F. & Tuyay, F. (2015, August 26). 50,629 assault rifles defective — military. Manila Standard. Retrieved from http://www.manilastandard.net/news/-main-stories/185476/50-629-assault-rifles-defective-military.html


Sonza, J. (2017, November 22). Defective M4 “Aquino” rifles. In Facebook [Notes]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/notes/jay-sonza/defective-m4-aquino-riffles/1500001360085417/

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