Pres. Duterte scored a bulls-eye in saying that the money spent for the 12 FA-50 jets purchased by the last administration could have been used to buy helicopters or boats that we can use for our internal security problems. For the amount, our Air Force could have gained more choppers and/or small, fast boats for our Coast Guard so that they can pursue terrorists and bandits over land or over sea.
In his speech before local mayors, he divulged that now the U.S. won’t even sell us ammunition for these fighters. What? Why did ex-Pres. Aquino get these very expensive but useless military hardware anyway if the U.S. can “yank our chain” and not sell us ammo whenever it pleases them? Fly-bys for ceremonies? Posterity? Show-off? Having the FA-50s is a proud moment, yes, but if you’re on a tight budget, there should have been more important items on the military’s shopping list.
Our Coast Guard needs more small, fast, heavily armed boats to safeguard our over 7,000 islands. More helicopter gunships and transports for the PAF, too. P18.9 Billion would have come a long way in trying to satisfy these more pressing needs of our Armed Forces. Besides, these vehicles can also be used to help our people in times of calamity, too. Try ferrying people out of danger zones using FA-50 fighters.