Jun 082013
Malacañang on Saturday reassured the public the government has not lost its focus in achieving a minimum credible defense position to protect Philippine sovereignty against external and internal threats.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the government has already accomplished much in modernizing the country’s police and military.

“We are going to achieve what we have always maintained, what the President has always said—a minimum credible defense position; and if the lawmakers would wish to add to the budget of the AFP, again, we are going through a budget deliberation process,” Lacierda said on government-run dzRB radio.

He added the current thrust of the government is modernizing the Philippine police and military.

As for some lawmakers’ call to increase the 2014 budget of the police and military for 2014, he said they can do their share by taking part in the deliberation for the 2014 budget.

Lacierda also said Congress can add to the budget for the military and the police, which would be a great help for the country.

But he said adding any amount should be in the budget process and budget deliberations.

“It is within the process itself, as to their discretion how they would like to assist in further modernizing our forces,” he said.

Under the AFP Modernization Law, the Aquino administration acquired a Hamilton-class cutter from the US, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar.

The Navy is also awaiting the arrival of another naval ship from the US, he said.

Also, he said the military acquired several combat helicopters from Poland with the first four choppers now being used by the Air Force.

There are additional deliveries of more choppers as well as jet fighters most probably from South Korea.

The Presidential Communications and Operations Office added modernizing the Philippine military is a “necessity” for the country as tension rises in the West Philippine Sea.

“Among the concerns for the Philippines are the alleged continuous patrols of China near the shoals within the country’s exclusive economic zone,” it said. — LBG, GMA News

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