The country’s military will accelerate its modernization program to be at par with its regional counterparts, its new chief said on Tuesday.
“Ia-accelerate po natin ang ating modernization program (We will accelerate our modernization program). We should be at par with our neighbors, so we are almost towards 2028 which we envision to become a world-class Armed Forces that is a source of national pride,” said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana in a Laging Handa briefing.
Sobejana estimated the completion of AFP modernization at “60 percent”, adding that a lot of modern weapon systems and equipment for the military are in the pipeline.
He said this also includes personal or individual equipment of troops as well as hospital and medical facilities that would greatly boost the morale of the soldiers.
Some of the well-known products of the ongoing AFP modernization program are two missile frigates — the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) which is now in commission, and the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) which is expected to arrive in the country this week, 12 FA-50PH light-interim fighter aircraft and the two AgustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat” anti-submarine helicopters.
When asked how he intends to end the communist insurgency, Sobejana said that there is a need to correctly identify the “enemies of the state”.
He added that this is needed considering that the AFP is dealing with the New People’s Army, Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Daulah Islamiyah inspired groups, and remnants of the Maute Group.
“So ang pinakamabigat na challenge is to accurately identify them, now once they are accurately identified, then we will give them a good fight, not necessarily combat because there are a lot of ways of solving problems, so combat is just one (The biggest challenge right now is to accurately identify them, now once they are accurately identified, then we will give them a good fight, not necessarily combat because there are a lot of ways in solving problems, so combat is just one),” he added. PNA.GOV.PH