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Showing posts from July, 2015

Why DND put on hold P6.5B Israeli missiles

The Department of National Defense (DND) on Tuesday said there was nothing irregular in its decision to shelve the planned acquisition of the P6.5-billion missile system from Israel for the Philippine Army in view of the country’s internal security threats.
Arsenio Andolong, director of the DND’s public affairs service, said the Shore-Based Missile System (SBMS) under the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was just in the planning stage.
“The SBMS project is merely a proposal at this time, and as such, there is no ‘realignment’ but rather a reprioritization of the said project in favor of the urgent need of our PA (Philippine Army) troops for individual force protection equipment,” Andolong said.
He said the “reprioritization” was a collective decision by senior defense leaders, which was submitted to President Aquino after going through the required processes in the Defense System of Management.
The Inquirer reported on Tuesday that Defense Sec…

China stakes out Philippines Recto Bank

“Our message to the world is clear: What is ours is ours; setting foot on Recto Bank is no different from setting foot on Recto Avenue,” President Aquino said in his second State of the Nation Address in July 2011.

But the Philippine Navy recently found a large steel marker bearing Chinese inscriptions and hundreds of yellow buoys in waters near Recto (Reed) Bank, an area of the West Philippine Sea where Manila has long explored for oil and gas, naval sources said.

A Reuters dispatch on Tuesday from Puerto Princesa City said one sailor reported he was on a fishing boat being used by the Navy that discovered the rubber buoys and the floating steel marker at the end of May.

The buoys stretched “as far as the eye could see,” the sailor said.

The newest discovery of Chinese markers was confirmed by two senior Philippine naval officials. One said the buoys were still there when the Navy checked the site mid-June, although the steel marker was gone. No attempt was made to remove the buoys, he s…

Philippines ramps up military spending in face of China threat

MANILA, July 7 (Reuters) - The Philippines plans to ramp up military spending over the next 13 years, earmarking more than $20 billion to modernise its forces in the face of Beijing's maritime ambitions in the disputed South China Sea, a top air force official told Reuters.

Major-General Raul del Rosario, military chief of plans, said the blueprint includes installing radars and sensors, and buying equipment such as submarines, frigates, fighters, surveillance planes and missile systems.

"By the time, we complete this plan, we will have complete coverage of the South China Sea," said del Rosario, a former fighter pilot, showing the military's detailed plan that was approved on Friday.

"We will have 24/7 awareness of what is happening in the disputed area and we'll be able to respond quicker to any contingency in our own exclusive economic zone."

He said the ambitious plan was initiated in 2013, but top brass had only approved overall spending of 998 billion…