PH in no-win situation vs world’s third military power | Inquirer News
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PH in no-win situation vs world’s third military power

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 01:20 AM April 21, 2012

Even President Benigno Aquino III admits that the Philippines cannot win any kind of military confrontation with China.

That’s because the Philippines has no hardware to militarily defend its territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea against China, the world’s third-largest military power, behind the United States and Russia.

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Perhaps the Philippines’ one and only warship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a Hamilton-class cutter acquired from the United States, can fight a Chinese vessel of the same class, but how long can it stay above the water if Chinese battleships come in?

Don’t talk about the Philippine Air Force, because even state auditors have found it “ill-equipped” to respond to national security situations.

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But the auditors said the conflicting claims of the Philippines and China to Panatag Shoal—internationally known as Scarborough Shoal—are among the “best arguments” to upgrade the capability of the Air Force.

After an end-2010 inventory of the Air Force, auditors from the Commission on Audit (COA) observed that the Air Force had only 91 “full-mission capable’’ aircraft out of its total 393 planes. Eighty-one of the planes were “inactive” and the remaining 221 were “for disposal.”

“Considering the abject state of its air assets, which are mostly aging, the Philippine Air Force is ill-equipped to be operationally responsive to national security and development,” the auditors said in their annual report.

Quoting a 2010 statement by Walter Lohman, director of the Asia Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation, the auditors said the Air Force neither owned a fighter jet nor had the capacity to consistently patrol “territory disputed by the Chinese.”

In contrast, China’s air force has 1,400 aircraft, including 80 bomber planes, 300 attack aircraft and 1,100 fighter aircraft, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, Philippine Air Force, Philippines-China relations, Scarborough shoal, West Philippine Sea
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