Senator: Armed Forces to have missiles within Aquino's term

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will have missiles in its arsenal within President Benigno Aquino III's term of office, a senator and former soldier said Wednesday.

In his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Aquino promised capability upgrades and modern equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

He said the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, a former US Coast Guard cutter, may just be the first of "more vessels in the future — these, in addition to helicopters and patrol craft."

"If we mean decent armed forces that can maintain peace, that can be done within the next few years under President Aquino," Trillanes said.

"What we expect is that, finally, within his term, that we finally get missile technology. We're really lagging behind (other militaries)," he said, adding the AFP should also eventually buy submarines.

He said Filipino soldiers are trained well but lack equipment.

"We send officer to train abroad, so they have their skills upgraded. We are on standard as far as training and indoctrination is concerned," he said.

Trillanes, a former Navy lieutenant, said he has already seen some of the President's efforts to reform the AFP.

Aquino has put up housing projects for soldiers. Their combat pay has also been raised to P500 a month from P240 a month.

Soldiers in combat operations also get P150 a day as “combat incentive pay.”

"He exceeded the expectations in this regard," Trillanes said.

Trillanes was jailed for more than seven years for his participation in mutinies against the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He, along with more than 300 soldiers, was granted amnesty by the Aquino administration. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)

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