Senate body holds executive session to discuss AFP modernization
The Senate blue ribbon committee on Wednesday held an executive session to listen to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) report on its modernization program.
It was Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin who requested the committee that they be allowed to make their presentations on the AFP modernization program as well as their “analyses of the various threat levels” and the “gaps” in its operational capabilities.
The hearing by the committee headed by Senator Teofisto Guingona III was prompted by three resolutions calling for an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the procurement of military equipment and weapon systems, particularly the reported purchase of 21 “obsolete and refurbished” choppers worth P1.2 billion.
But Gazmin, in his opening statement, requested the committee to proceed first to an executive session before proceeding to the issue on procurement and acquisition of the military’s equipment.
“Thereafter, we can go back to open public hearings on issues affecting the procurement and acquisition of protection equipment M113, APC, and the UH-ID aircraft,” he told the committee, which immediately granted the request.
Before the executive session, the defense chief informed the committee that they conducted comprehensive analyses of the various threats that he said formed part of the basis of their procurement and acquisitions of military armaments and equipment.
“Subsequently, we assessed our real capability by determining our strength and weaknesses. We’ve pinpointed the gaps in our present capability that we should fill up in order to satisfy the equipment requirements based on the table of organization and equipment or the TOE of our armed forces,” he said.
“The specifics on the analyses of the various threat levels and the gaps in the operational capabilities of our armed forces will be revealed by the AFP in their presentation of the AFP modernization program during the executive session that we are requesting after my presentation.”
Based on the TOE records, he said, the AFP was able to identify the specific equipment and armaments needed to upgrade its capability in certain areas such as transport, assault, communications, and other items intended for land, sea and air operations.
‘Our soldiers should be able to see, talk, shoot and move,” Gazmin added. IDL
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.