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Palace says ongoing defense upgrade to boost Philippine Military capability

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President Benigno S. Aquino III observes as Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano leads the Philippine Navy Pledge during the 115th Anniversary of the Philippine Navy at the Commodore Posadas Wharf, Headquarters, Naval Sea Systems Command in Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, Fort San Felipe, Cavite City on Tuesday (May 21). At present, the Philippine Navy is a force of 26,000 personnel composed of sailors, marines and civilian employees. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III observes as Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano leads the Philippine Navy Pledge during the 115th Anniversary of the Philippine Navy at the Commodore Posadas Wharf, Headquarters, Naval Sea Systems Command in Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, Fort San Felipe, Cavite City on Tuesday (May 21). At present, the Philippine Navy is a force of 26,000 personnel composed of sailors, marines and civilian employees. (MNS photo)

Malacanang sees the ongoing military upgrade a big improvement in the country’s defense capability particularly when the minimum credible defense posture goal is achieved.

In a press conference in Malacanang on Friday, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the procurement of various defense equipment is currently in different stages of acquisition.

Judging by the equipment that the country is looking to upgrade, Valte said she believes that once the acquisition is completed it would be a huge improvement in the country’s military capability.

The goal is to defend the country’s waters and territory, given the Philippines’s unique position, she said.

Asked by reporters how soon the country could achieve the minimum credible defense posture, Valte said they expect BRP Ramon Alcaraz, the second naval ship from the US will arrive in the next few months.

The military is also awaiting the arrival of additional helicopters after the country received initial delivery of new Polish-made combat choppers. The Philippines is also eyeing for the procurement of 12 T-50 trainer/fighter jets from South Korea.

But Valte clarified that buying modern military hardware is different from deciding to send a stronger force in the disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea.

“You know having the hardware is one thing. The strategy is not borne out of just wanting to send something there. Of course, it is a coordinated effort between all agencies in the government,” Valte said when asked if those equipment would be used to fend off intruders in the country’s waters.

The Palace official also said that it’s a deliberate choice in the part of the Philippine government not to respond to any provocative actions regarding disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

“It’s a deliberate step taken not to respond to any provocative actions but whether it will achieve the minimum credible defense posture we want to achieve is something that need to assess military and security officials,” she said.

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