MANILA – President Aquino said on Thursday that the modernization of the country’s military is not meant to escalate further the ongoing tensions of claimant countries in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea.
Aquino was referring to the release of more than 40 billion pesos to fund the country’s military modernization and upgrade in the past four years.
Several military weapons and facilities were acquired including two warships, a landing craft utility ship, eight Sokol Combat Utility Helicopters, three AW-109 naval helicopters and four refurbished UH-1 helicopters, among many others.
“Lest anyone accuse us of shifting to a more militaristic position, I must emphasize: Our efforts seek to modernize the capabilities of our security sector is to address the needs in human disaster response arenas and for our own internal defense,” Aquino said in his speech at this year’s Asian Defense, Security and Crisis Management Exhibition.
“None of these actions are meant to increase tensions in the region; rather, they are meant to address our domestic problems and issues,” he added.
Meanwhile, Aquino also enumerated the following military equipment that he expects to be qcquired by the government in the next years:
- FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer jets
- refurbished UH-1 helicopters
- combat utility helicopters
- long-range patrol aircrafts
- close-air support aircrafts
- anti-submarine helicopters
- full missile capable multi-purpose attack crafts
“Anytime we have an opportunity to make our military more efficient, we have every intention of taking that opportunity,” Aquino said.
“While nothing government can provide will truly ever match the sacrifices they have made in our country’s name, the very least we can do is throw our full support behind them—to make certain that those who risk their lives for the country are likewise taken care of by their country,” Aquino added.