Incoming Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya vowed to prioritize the acquisition of modern equipment and weapons to make the Filipino military a more credible defense force.
“We have to build a credible force. We have to have a defense capability that can deter foreign aggression,” he said in reply to question on whether he will continue to push for the AFP’s modernization.
As of this posting, fruits of the AFP’s ongoing modernization program include the two Hamilton-class cutters, six multi-purpose assault craft, 113 armored personnel carriers, three brand-new C-295 medium lift aircraft, two C-130 heavy transports, two FA-50PH light-interim fighter aircraft and eight attack versions of the AgustaWestland AW-109 “Power” helicopters, five landing craft heavies and two strategic sealift vessels to name a few.
Visaya said modernizing the AFP will allow the Philippines to stand up on its own against aggressors without dependence from other countries.
“Just like any Armed Forces, the AFP is bound to defend our country and secure our sovereignty,” he added.
Visaya is slated to take command of the 125,000-strong AFP by July 1.
He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983 and outgoing commander of the Lucena, Quezon-based Southern Luzon Command.
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