PHL should build credible defense capability: Gordon

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Senator Richard Gordon said that the Philippines should build up a credible defense capability to gain respect and support from other countries.

“It is a folly for the Philippines to remain weak, dependent and reliant. To continue to undermine our defense capacity is an absolute folly and makes allies and ill-minded countries to look at us with derision. It makes us lose our dignity and self-respect,” he said in a statement.

Senator Gordon said the Philippines should be friends with neighbors, boost alliances in Asia, and at the same time build up a credible defense capability. “No other country will help us if they see we are not serious about helping ourselves with a reliable defense in air, and naval assets,” he said.

He said that by investing in strengthening the military, the government is fulfilling the Constitutional provision which mandates that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the protector of the people and its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory.

“We cannot continue to afford making a mockery of our Constitution’s claim that the AFP is the protector of the people and its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory. I am not saying we go to war. Far from it! But it is a conditio sine qua non for every state to have a capable defense force,” Gordon explained.

He the Philippines should be prepared to do everything for the sake of national security.

“We must do this, ourselves. By doing so, the whole world will respect us and prospective supporters will support us because we are showing our commitment to help ourselves,” he said.

“Masarap tulungan ang taong tumutulong sa sarili,” he said.

Senator Gordon earlier expressed his support for the early acquisition of submarines. “We are one of four countries in Asia that do not have submarines. If the report about the purchase is true, I endorse and I am elated by it. We should go by the way of the Japanese. During the Meiji Restoration, their motto was ‘enrich the nation; strengthen the military,” he said.

Revised AFP Modernization Program is now on its second phase. Aside from submarines, the military is also eyeing to acquire multi-role fighter aircraft in this stage of modernization.

Sources: http://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2018/0703_gordon1.asp; http://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2018/0622_gordon1.asp