House seeks probe of defective helmets

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The death of a government soldier from a gunshot wound on his head despite having a helmet on has prompted the House Minority bloc to push for a probe on the alleged defective helmets used by the government soldiers.

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In a still unnumbered House Resolution authored by Rep. Rodolfo Albano 3rd, the Lower Chamber’s opposition lawmakers tasked the House Committee on National Defense to kickstart the probe after the death of First Lt. Francis Damian who was killed when a high-velocity bullet pierced his helmet and hit him in the middle of his forehead during the state troops’ encounter with the Moro Na-tional Liberation Front in Zamboanga City.

“Considering the circumstances surrounding the death of First Lt. Damian, one cannot help but conclude that the combat helmet used by the valiant soldier was defective and did not conform with the standard military speci-fications reflecting a law in the military procurement system,” the Resolution said.

The brave government soldiers who fight with dedication, the opposition said, deserve outmost support from the government.

“Remedial legislation must be taken up in order to improve the fighting capability and protect the welfare of our soldiers,” the Resolution added.

The Aquino administration has earmarked P78.58 billion for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the proposed P2.286-trillion budget for 2014—a P1.4-billion hike from its 2013 allocation of P77.14 billion.

Of the Armed Forces’ units, the Philippine Army will get the most budget for with P40.87 billion, followed by the Philippine Navy with P13.87 billion, Philippine Air Force with P12.5 billion and the AFP General Headquarters and AFP Wide Service Support Units with P11.36 billion.

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