• Aquino raises doubts on AFP modernization


    FOR the first time since numerous controversies involving defense procurement sprang out, President Benigno Aquino 3rd raised doubts on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program, noting that what is being bought may not be actually needed.

    In an interview on Tuesday, Aquino said he wished that he had formed “pools of experts” who are capable of identifying what a particular agency really needs.

    “For instance, in purchasing, when the AFP decides to modernize, how do we actually know that what we’re getting is what we really need versus what a proponent is suggesting that we need to fulfill our needs?” the president told editors and reporters of a national daily.

    He noted that the common practice is that military procurements are based on what contractors could offer or what is presently available.

    “It’s like they get something off the shelf and they’re trying to dovetail it into what we want,” he pointed out.

    The AFP Modernization Program is a multibillion project that aims to make the military at par with other armies around the world.

    However, controversies hounded these procurements, including the acquisition of P1.2 billion refurbished UH-1D helicopters that was first exposed by The Manila Times in March. Through whistle¬blower Rhodora Alvarez, who used the alias “Joey,” the paper ran a series of stories narrating how the project was “tailor fittted” for a specific contractor, Rice Aircraft Services Inc.

    The deal, which is now the subject of a probe by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and the House of Representatives, was “partially terminated” by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

    Alvarez, who is now under the government’s Witness Protection Program, had earlier ridiculed Aquino for turning a blind eye to the corruption at the Department of National Defense under Gazmin, his father figure.

    Besides the helicopter deal, the AFP has been rocked by the issues on defective M4 rifles and overpriced armored vehicles, among others.

    Sources at the DND said efforts are underway for the “acceptance” of another batch of “defective” UH-1D helicopters despite the project’s cancellation.


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    1. Tuwid na daan baku baku nman yan ang Penoy sabagay lahing intsik si Pres.Noynoy Aquino Cojuangco.ALL talk all plan wishy washy modernization daw but old outdated chopper.;A delay will also cause delay 6yrs Pres.palpak,puro yabang pinagmamalaki pbago bgo defence plan gusto kickback s arms deal.Philippines only nation without anti ship missile in east asia,kulelat sa economy,defence is so weak,corrupt talaga politician dto…dpat ifiring squad lahat ng politico ng umunlad ng mamamayan sa pinas…

    2. Penoy talaga. wala syang pinagkaiba sa nanay nya (sumalangit nawa sya) na makupad o ayaw gumalaw. puro porma parang mga estrada lang. walang political will talaga. alam nyang nagkukurakutan na e wala syang ginagawa to prevent it. dyos ko po sana magbago ang isip ni duterte. sya lang ang nakikita kong may political will sa lahat ng presindential wannabe’s.

    3. We should proceed with the AFP modernisation. I think this is the strong point of Pnoy administration. there was a serious attempt to modernise. At least nakatulong yong hilig niya sa mga baril at armas. There are defects, alright but they can be corrected.

      Because ours is a group -of- islands nation, we should modernise our navy and merchant marine as defense and modern transport. We should endeavor to have our own shipyards and build the ship here in the country through joint ventures rather than procure second hand or ukay-ukay ships. This way we train our sea-farers and engineers.

    4. All your people inclluding yourself Mr. Pnoy were all dumbed and idiot. You do not know NOTHING. Now you will ask yourself. Your term is few months away.. Ngayon ka lang magiisip ng ganyan..This is your responsibility to protect the sovereignity and territorial of our nation. Ngayon ano ang magagawa mo, nakuha na ng China ang shcaragh boal… island sa atin..Because of your negligence and stupidity.

    5. What do you think of our president who said ” he could only wish that he had formed “pools of experts” who are capable of identifying what a particular agency really needs and noted that what is being bought may not be actually needed” in connection with the AFP modernization program? Hay naku, magtatapos na lang ang kanyang termino at hanggang ngayon ay puro pa rin wish.

    6. the M4 defects are very minor. it can be fix by the manufacturer in short time. some of the accusations of the acquisition overpriced and anomalies are not true and mostly a demolition of the modernization of AFP by leftists. its a no brainer Pnoy senior security advisers to know what is needed. Just look at the state of the AFP and you already know what they need and compare them to the potential enemies like Malaysia, and Vietnam who both have submarines and modern fighter jets and radars and missiles.. so we need those too. as China of course we cannot fight China toe to toe but the others we can if we can modestly modernized the AFP. Pnoy should go ahead and move faster the AFP modernization before he leaves office.