It is about time
IT IS about time that the Armed Forces of the Philippines be reoriented from being a coercive force of the State against its people to an institution geared towards the defense of the archipelago from foreign aggression.
Our country is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands and yet our navy is weakest among the Southeast Asian countries relying on mostly World War II vintage ships, and our air force, which is predominantly Vietnam War vintage Huey helicopters, is almost non-existent. We have no fighter jets to speak of.
Curiously it is the Army and the Special Forces that had some size advantage over the other arms of the AFP, a testament to the long standing anti-people orientation of the military establishment.
However, despite its size, the army lacks the logistical capability, proper training and arms to confront foreign threats again thanks to the obsession of past political and military leaders on counter-insurgency.
The intelligence arm of the AFP, including those from the three major branches, are also geared towards the infiltration and surveillance of so-called internal enemies of the state that they have no objective program to counter foreign spies operating in the country.
What we need is a strong navy and air force and an ultra mobile well equipped army capable of presenting a decent defense of the country. Counter-insurgency should be better left to the police.
With the mounting tension at the West Philippine Sea because of Chinese navy’s incursions in that area the government has belatedly started a limited program of modernization with the acquisition of a former US Coast Guard Cutter that was built in 1965. There are plans to acquire two more decommissioned USCG ships.
But what can three ships and our WW II boats do against the vastly superior and modern Chinese Navy?
This is the reason why President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has no choice but to invite American military forces back in the country under the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement, two decades after US military bases were kicked out by a nationalist Senate.
It is unfortunate that-20 years were wasted by politicians and that we failed to take the opportunity ushered in by the US military absence to become a militarily self-reliant nation.
Furthermore, the stubborn preference of military leaders for expensive American military hardware is mind boggling when we can buy equally potent arms made by other countries at a lower price.
It is also about time that the AFP explores the possibility of learning military doctrines other than what was handed down to us by the Americans. We should learn from the Korean and Vietnamese experience.
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Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature? Then go and visit Bato Springs in barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City.
Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila. You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.
For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.
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