By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA (PNA) – For jump-starting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III has the gratitude of the entire military.
This was disclosed by AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla in an interview Sunday.
“We are very thankful for our Commander-in-Chief for understanding the (modernization needs of the) AFP and doing his best to see to it that the (minimum deterrent) requirements are acquired,” he added in Filipino.
During the Aquino administration, significant progress has been made in the implementation of the AFP Capability Upgrade and Modernization Program where PHP60.14 billion has been released from July 10, 2010 to April this year, for all three Major Services, which includes the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Some of the equipment acquired in this period include the two Hamilton-class cutters, six multi-purpose assault craft, 113 armored personnel carriers, three brand-new C-295 medium lift aircraft, two C-130 heavy transports, two FA-50PH light-interim fighter aircraft and eight attack versions of the AgustaWestland AW-109 “Power” helicopters, five landing craft heavies and two strategic sealift vessels to name a few.
Despite these acquisitions, Padilla said there is a need for the AFP to acquire more modern weapons and platforms to catch with our neighboring countries so that the Filipino military will be respected.
“For our country to be respected by other nations in the region we must be able to have a credible defense posture that will ensure that a degree of respectability,” he added. (PNA)