AFP presses arms upgrade
CITING a remark that it was the sixth worst military in the world in terms of equipment, the Armed Forces of the Philippines again called on lawmakers to act on its capability upgrade.
The remark appeared on “We are the Mighty” website.
According to Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, the Philippine military views the claim of the website with “an open mind.”
“We see this as an opportunity… to call on the legislative to support a sustained capability upgrade of the military,” he said on Thursday.
“We are the Mighty” website publishes military stories and other related content. According to the website, the 10 countries with the worst militaries are Costa Rica, Iraq, North Korea, Eritrea, Nigeria, Philippines, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
The website claimed that “despite the Chinese military buildup in the region, with aggressive moves by the Chinese to claim areas and build islands close to the Philippines, the Philippines’ naval and air forces are still nearly 60 years old and its ships are old US Coast Guard cutters.”
Padilla said the AFP was aware of the article.
It cannot be denied that the AFP lags behind in terms of acquiring equipment, he pointed out.
The Aquino administration is also aware of this reality, and President Aquino has done more for the military than the three previous administrations combined, he added.
Mr. Aquino “caused the extension of the earlier failed modernization program and approved the P80-billion funding of appropriate equipment to safeguard our skies, seas and land,” Padilla said.
The military spokesperson also cited the purchase of FA-50 fighters, additional radar equipment, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to transport troops and equipment during emergencies and disasters.
For the Philippine Navy, funding for the acquisition of sea vessels such as frigates, patrol craft and strategic sea-lift vessels has been approved.
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.