Lately I have been seeing a lot shit going around about the Armed Forces of The Philippines. How they can handle any threat thrown at them. Their military ranks 37th out of 106 countries. Etc. Sorry to say this folks, but I recently spoke to a number of Philippine Marines who were patrolling my Barangay the other day, and they all complained about carrying “outdated” weaponry. In fact, half the platoon were issued M-14’s. Granted, this weapon may be a solid workhorse. But by many standards, it should have been shelved decades ago.
Below I have decided to make note of 2 VERY critical points regarding the AFP. The worst, and most embarrassing part, is at the end of this article, where one can plainly see how the government has been constantly putting off ANY kind of modernization.
In 2007, The Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, reported that the AFP is one of the weakest military forces in Southeast Asia, saying that as the country’s primary security threats are land-based—separatist, communist insurgent and terrorist groups—the army has received priority funding, and that the operational effectiveness of the Philippine Navy (PN) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has suffered accordingly, leaving the country’s sea lanes largely unprotected.
In 2008, The Irrawaddy reported a statement by General Alexander B. Yano, then Chief of Staff of the AFP, that the Philippine military cannot fully defend the country from external threats due to a lack of weapons and a preoccupation with crushing the long-running communist and Muslim insurgents. Yano went on to say that a more ambitious modernization of the ill-equipped navy and air force to better guard the country from external threats will have to wait, saying, “To be very frank with you, our capability as far as these aspects are concerned is a little deficient,” and “We cannot really defend all these areas because of a lack of equipment.” Corruption within the higher ranks are believed to be one of the main reasons why modernization of the armed forces has remained stagnant for decades.
As reported by The Philippine Star in an op-ed piece, the Commission on Audit said in its 2010 audit report for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) that with only 31 aging airplanes and 54 helicopters, the PAF “virtually has a non-existent air deterrent capability” and is “ill equipped to be operationally responsive to national security and development.”
Since 1951, a Mutual Defense Treaty has been in effect between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States.
Republic Act No. 7898, approved on February 23, 1995, declared it the policy of the State to modernize the AFP to a level where it can effectively and fully perform its constitutional mandate to uphold the sovereignty and preserve the patrimony of the Republic of the Philippines, and mandated specific actions to be taken to achieve this end.
Republic Act No. 10349, approved on December 11, 2012, amended RA7898 to establish a revised AFP modernization program.
The Philippines could receive some help in upgrading its military equipment from allies such as the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia. Ricky Carandang, the presidential communications secretary, says that talks are being held with Japan to acquire 12 patrol boats for the Coast Guard.