• Opposition lawmakers want purchase of Korean fighter jets deferred

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    Opposition lawmakers have cautioned the Aquino administration against purchasing Korean fighter jets amid the repair and rehabilitation efforts in earthquake-stricken Cebu and Bohol provinces.

    Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez of Leyte, leader of the Independent bloc in the House of Representatives, was referring to the Palace’s planned acquisition of 12 brand-new squadron FA-50

    fighter jets worth P18.9 billion from the state-owned Korea Aerospace Industries Inc. (KAI).

    “While we understand the need to upgrade the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) capability, we must prioritize the interest of tens of thousands of people who have been affected by the earthquake. We ask the Aquino administration to defer its procurement of jets and use the funds for the rehabilitation of the earthquake-ravaged areas,” Romualdez said.

    Another opposition lawmaker, Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez of Youth Against Corruption and Poverty party-list, agreed with Romualdez by citing that the P18.9 billion budget for the purchase of airplanes can already do so much in rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake.

    “It is true that we need to beef up our naval and aerial defenses, but no matter how many billions we put into it, we are no match for China,” Lopez said in a separate talk.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd revealed the planned procurement of the 12 brand-new multirole combat aircraft when he met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House, South Korea’s seat of power, during his two-day state visit there last week.

    The KAI-made FA-50 is a combat aircraft capable of carrying up to 4.5 tons of weapons, namely air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, machine guns and precision guided bombers, among others.

    The FA-50 is also equipped with a night vision imaging system with day and night capability.

    Rep. Luz Ilagan of Gabriela party-list, for her part, stressed that the purchase of the said jets is a waste of public funds.

    “The plan will only provoke China from taking further bolder steps in the West Philippine Sea,” Ilagan said in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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    3 Comments

    1. The way to safeguard our sovereignty is to possess defensive weapons, e.g. fighter aircrafts. The solons calling for the deferment of buying fighter jets from South Korea don’t understand what the’re talking about. What is worst, they are politicizing the issues of defense and rebuilding. Let’s be realistic and please stop talking nonsense. Whether we strengthen our defenses or we stay un-armed, China will continue its dream of controlling the whole of the West Philippine sea. The issues of modernizing our armed forces and the rebuilding of Bohol are separate from each other. Disasters will always occur. Let’s accept it. We are a country that is prone to natural calamities. Let’s allow President Aquino purchase the needed fighter jets and let him find the means to finance the rebuilding of Bohol at the same time. But stopping the purchase of defensive weapons is foolishness. We will end up with no credible armed forces if we will always politicize every matter for self grandeur. Please, Mr. President, do not listen to your critics, the Philippines need arms to stop China from humiliating us.

    2. Kung may time and resources, bakit it has to wait kung puwede naman balansehin. Of course rehabilitation is a must and there are lots of donation pouring in. Ang importante ay ang proper handling and desimination of resources available. Yong mga kongresman or senator, more than ever has to give up the pork (PDAF or DAP). How about those people amasing wealth for themselves. yon ang kalampagin ninyo. Hindi yong may saysay na karapatdapat. Baka hindi ninyo alam kung magkano ang nawawala sa kaban ng bayan kung mananatili ang conflict. The people has to be watchful and do their part also. I am sure na kailangan ng gobyerno ang may magdevelop ng resources (oil or gas). Pero hindi kaya ng gobyerno by itself. Kailangan ang mga private companies or entities. Do you those companies will put in their resources kung may instability at ang gobyerno is lacking of capability to safeguard their investments. Asked yourself!!! Stop politicking and get attention or advertising yourself. There are a lot of things to be look at and work together for the sake of everyone.

    3. Rosauro Feliciano on

      Don’t believe these pseudo nationalists. Singapore is no match to the Chinese bully but the Chinese will think many times before doing what the Chinese is doing to us because Singapore has a very powerful military hardware. Now no Filipino fisherman can venture to the where the Chinese bully encroached our fishing ground west of our mainland Luzon. So why these pseudo nationalists are not saying anything against the Chinese occupation of our territory? Is it because they are pones of the Communist Chinese?