From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 30): Seized ‘ammo’ in CDO intended for Marawi
It is very likely that the thousands of high-powered ammunitions confiscated by authorities here recently could be for use of the local terrorist group in Marawi City, a police official said.
Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that the 8,000 rounds of live bullets are intended for the Maute Group whose members are fighting the government forces in Marawi.
The conflict has already displaced thousands of residents while hundreds of civilians, soldiers and insurgents were killed, and has turned Lanao del Sur’s capital city into a warzone.
Contained in eight boxes were 6,000 cartridges of 5.56mm for M16 assault rifle and 2,000 pieces of .30 caliber bullets.
The ammunition cache, which arrived here from Manila a few weeks prior to the Marawi siege, were found by the police in a warehouse of cargo forwarding company in Barangay Camaman-an, this city, based on the information given to them.
If they are brought to Marawi, it’s possible that these could be for use by the armed extremists, said Chief Inspector Ariel Philip Pontillas, chief of the city police’s intelligence unit, on Friday.
In reports, the Maute Group had already planned the attack on Marawi weeks before the conflict broke out last May 23.
It’s also probable, Pontillas said, that the seized ammunition were brought by a gunrunning syndicate since no individual could purchase such number of bullets.
He noted that the carton containing the munitions bore no markings indicating that it’s for law enforcement use. Pontillas said the ammunition was declared as electrical wires in the transaction details but no consignee has yet to claim the cargo.
He said the officials of the cargo forwarding company have already coordinated with authorities regarding the ammunition as they were also concerned of the items that were stored inside their facilities.