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Thread: Our Country's Needed Military Upgrade

  1. #11
    DND signs P1.3-billion contract for naval helicopters

    By Marlon Ramos

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    12:47 am | Friday, December 28th, 2012

    The Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday said it had signed a P1.3-billion ($32-million) contract for the acquisition of three Italian-made helicopters for the Philippine Navy, a move that, according to the defense chief, shows a “louder and clearer” intent to modernize the military.

    Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin announced the modernization move as China sent its first patrol vessel to disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), where Chinese patrols would board, search and expel foreign ships starting Jan. 1.

    China’s southern Hainan province, from where China administers the West Philippine Sea, said in late November that maritime patrols would strictly enforce new border rules, but respect freedom of navigation in the sea.

    Italian deal

    Gazmin said the Philippines would purchase three multipurpose AW helicopters from AugustaWestland SPA of Italy “in a concrete step toward the fulfillment of our goal to modernize the Philippine Navy and the Armed Forces in general.”

    He also announced the signing of a P300.780-million ($7.33 million) contract with Korea’s Kia Motors Corp. for the acquisition of 60 1.5-ton field ambulances and 12 5-ton trucks for the Philippine Army.

    Gazmin said the purchases show the Philippines’ “louder and clearer” intent to modernize its military.

    The Philippines is also getting a second warship, the 45-year-old Hamilton-class BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which is expected to arrive from the United States early next year after undergoing repairs and refurbishing.

    Gazmin said the military entered into a negotiated contract agreement with AugustaWestland SPA for the three naval choppers costing a total of P1.3 billion.

    He said he approved the contract on Dec. 20, more than two weeks after the DND bids and awards committee recommended the signing of the notice of award.

    Gazmin said the agreement was allowed under the government procurement law.

    On Nov. 28, the Naval Helicopter Acquisition Project Negotiating Committee declared that the Italian supplier was the “single calculated and responsive proponent after going through the process of a negotiated procurement,” Gazmin said.

    “The Italian Ministerio Della Difesa conducted a review of AugustaWestland’s proposal for the procurement of AW 109 Power helicopter, including related logistics support, and found out that the price per helicopter ‘seems to have been progressively reduced,’ meaning they were sold cheaper,” he said.

    Gazmin said he approved the contract for the ambulances and trucks with Kia Motors on Nov. 20.

    Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Jessie Dellosa signed the contract for the military.

    Kia deal

    Gazmin said the deal with Kia Motors was made through a Memorandum of Understanding on Logistics and Defense Industry Cooperation between Korea and the Philippines.

    “The purchase of these field ambulances will greatly help in saving the lives of our soldiers who are out there fighting for our nation and the Filipino people,” Gazmin said.

    “In the same sense, we can use these to help in our disaster rescue and relief operations to aid our beleaguered countrymen and help save a lot of lives,” he added. — With a report from AP

  2. #12
    AFP to acquire helicopters, trucks

    Associated Press

    4:45 pm | Thursday, December 27th, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine’s defense chief says the government has signed separate contracts worth 163 billion pesos (about $39 million) with Italian and South Korean companies to supply helicopters and trucks as part of efforts to modernize its poorly equipped military.

    Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Thursday the Philippines will purchase three multi-purpose AW 109 helicopters for its navy from AugustaWestland SPA of Italy amounting to 1.33 billion pesos ($32 million).

    He says Kia Motors Corp. will supply 60 field ambulances and 12 trucks all worth 300.78 million ($7.33 million) pesos.

    Gazmin says the purchases show the country’s “louder and clearer” intent to modernize its military.

    The Philippine military is fighting a decades-long communist insurgency and battling Islamic militants while facing increasing tension over territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

  3. #13
    Japan, SoKor, Australia to help PH improve defense capability – DFA

    By Jerry E. Esplanada

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    4:54 pm | Sunday, May 20th, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines — Aside from the United States, at least three other countries – Japan, South Korea and Australia – are helping the Philippines establish a minimum credible defense posture to complement its diplomatic capacity in dealing with its territorial disputes with China in the West Philippine Sea.

    Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed this out over the weekend as he also disclosed that the Tokyo government is likely to provide the country with 12 patrol boats.

    “They’re considering 10 forty-meter patrol boats on ODA (Official Development Aid) and two larger ones as grants,” Del Rosario told the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    In a text message, he also said: “Regarding South Korea, we have a logistics agreement and we have received equipment, such as vests and helmets (for the Armed Forces of the Philippines).”

    “I understand our defense department is looking to possibly purchase aircraft from there,” according to Del Rosario.

    In November, President Benigno Aquino III asked visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for aircraft, patrol boats and other hardware to help boost the country’s military amid then rising tensions with China over the Spratlys Islands.

    Lee did not disclose any response to the specific request but said Seoul wanted to help Manila resolve its maritime problems.

    From Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs head said the country could expect to get “a number of vessels for search-and-rescue, as well as significant training here and abroad for large numbers of our military (personnel).”

    “We expect increased help (from the Australian government) when the Status of the Visiting Forces Agreement (or SOFVA between Manila and Canberra) is ratified, hopefully this week,” said Del Rosario.

    The SOFVFA, which covers the “status of visiting forces from each state while in the territory of the other state,” was signed on May 31, 2007 in the Australian capital by then Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and his counterpart Defense Minister Brendan Nelson.

    The signing of the bilateral pact was witnessed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

    Last week, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed reports that the Philippines would acquire at least 10 patrol boats from Japan. However, he declined to discuss with reporters details of the acquisition still in progress.

    Coast Guard head Vice Admiral Edmund Tan said they have been negotiating a loan for the acquisition of the vessels.

    Meanwhile, the AFP chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa, said the process of building a credible defense for the country has been moving fast, with the Navy’s acquisition of a second Hamilton-class cutter from the US.

    The first such acquisition, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, figured in the early part of the standoff between the Philippines and China over the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, which Manila calls Bajo de Masinloc and Panatag Shoal.

    On the other hand, Beijing refers to the rock formation as Huangyan Island.

    Del Rosario has repeatedly said “we have committed ourselves to improve our national defense by building a minimum credible defense posture” as he also stressed the need to protect national sovereignty.

    “Given the country’s lack of resources, it behooves us to proactively seek the assistance and cooperation of our various international partners to achieve this minimum credible posture, which is a fundamental attribute of any sovereign country,” he also said.

    According to Del Rosario, the “defense track” is part of the DFA’s comprehensive overall plan in promoting national security.

    This year, the Philippines would be receiving about $144.66 million (about P6.25 billion) in defense assistance from the US, he said.

    Aside from the delivery of a second Coast Guard cutter, “negotiations are likewise underway for more defense articles, including newer air assets for the Philippine Air Force. We also successfully secured funding in the amount of $53 million (about P2.3 billion) for radar systems to be used by the Coast Guard Watch Council for enhanced maritime domain awareness.”

    He said Manila has been upgrading its defense partnership with Washington under the two allies’ Mutual Defense Treaty, citing changes in the regional and global security environment.

    Del Rosario emphasized their focal point for cooperation has been to “increase our capacity for territorial defense and maritime security.”

    Aside from the defense track, he also referred to the DFA’s diplomatic or political track, where the country would continue to push for the transformation of the West Philippine Sea into a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation, or ZoPFFC.

    Under the ZoPFFC, Manila would observe a rules-based approach to all disputes in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

    For the legal track, the DFA plans to continue coordinating with other concerned government agencies as it resorts to dispute settlement mechanisms under UNCLOS.

    According to Del Rosario, “there are five of them and we’re assessing which one is best for us, one that will serve our purpose well.”

    Scarborough Shoal lies north of the Spratlys and 124 nautical miles west of Zambales province.

    Both asserting their territorial claim to the shoal, Manila and Beijing have refused to recall their vessels from the area.

    China has violated the Asean Declaration on the Conduct of Parties “for not allowing us to enforce our laws in the country’s 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone,” according to Del Rosario.

    The Philippines earlier filed a protest with the UN, challenging China’s nine-dash claim that encompasses the whole West Philippine Sea.

    Last month, Manila asked the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to take a stand on its dispute with China over the Scarborough Shoal.

    Del Rosario asserted that “all, not just the Philippines, will ultimately be negatively affected if we do not take a stand.”

    He observed “if you take a good look, it appears to us that China wants to establish the rules. Obviously, there’s a negative implication for everyone, not just the Philippines.”

    Asked if they would ask the US government’s help in resolving the conflict, he said they “would want all nations to make a judgment as to what’s happening there and what the implications are to their own countries.”

    He claimed Washington has already taken a “very constructive role” in resolving the Spratlys dispute, when it pushed for the application of international law in solving the problem.

  4. #14
    Pentagon: US to equip Philippines with powerful radar

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    3:20 am | Thursday, June 14th, 2012

    Plans to provide a powerful radar to the Philippines came after President Benigno Aquino met with US President Barack Obama at the White House, where the Philippine leader was offered a robust show of military and economic support.

    WASHINGTON—The US military on Tuesday said it planned to provide a powerful land-based radar to the Philippines as the country faced an escalating dispute with China over territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    The radar system will form part of a “watch center” that will track ships off the Philippine archipelago’s coastline, according to a Pentagon spokesperson.

    “We are in the initial planning stages of assisting the Philippines with a National Coast Watch Center,” Major Catherine Wilkinson told Agence France Presse.

    “This center will improve the Philippine maritime domain awareness of a breadth of security issues including countering the proliferation of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) to countering illegal smuggling,” Wilkinson said.

    The cost and the timeline for the project were still being worked out, she said.

    Robust show of support

    Plans to provide a powerful radar to the Philippines came after President Benigno Aquino met with US President Barack Obama at the White House, where the Philippine leader was offered a robust show of military and economic support.

    Manila has asked for the radar system and other military assistance to bolster its position in a row with Beijing over Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal, which lies near the main Philippine island of Luzon.

    The plan to provide Manila with a radar system reflects Washington’s strategic pivot to Asia amid escalating tensions in the strategic waterway which is believed to contain vast oil and gas deposits, analysts said.

    “Land-based radar is one of the practical ways the United States can simultaneously boost Philippine defense capabilities and signal Washington’s long-term commitment to Asia,” said Patrick Cronin, senior adviser for Asia at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

    China may choose to defuse tensions just before a gathering of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations next month, Cronin said.

    “But it is also possible that China is determined to humiliate the Philippines and, indirectly, the United States,” he added.

    The Philippines has also expressed interest in patrol vessels and aircraft to help monitor the vast waters off its coast, where the Chinese have sent ships to assert their territorial claims.

    It was unlikely the United States would provide military aircraft to the Philippines at a time when China may be preparing a conciliatory gesture, Cronin said.

    “If China persists with embarrassing the Philippines, then I have no doubt aircraft sales will follow,” he said.

    Admiral Cecil Haney, the commander of the Pacific Fleet, on Monday said the US Navy would be sending its most advanced warships, submarines and fighter jets to the Asia-Pacific region as China modernized its own naval forces at breakneck speed.

    Haney mentioned the Littoral Combat Ship that could operate in shallower waters than other vessels, the EA-18G plane that could jam enemy air defenses and fly faster than the speed of sound, and the US Navy’s most advanced submarine—the Virginia-class.

    To outgun rivals’ ships

    Amid rising tensions in the West Philippine Sea, China’s state-controlled media and online military websites reported last week that the first of a new class of a stealthy littoral combat frigate, the type 056, had been launched at Shanghai’s Hudong shipyard with three others under construction.

    According to analysts, the new 1,700-ton ship, armed with a 76mm main gun, missiles and antisubmarine torpedoes, would easily outgun the warships of rival claimants in the strategic waterway, according to the analysts. AFP

  5. #15
    A first: Philippines to buy 2 missile warships from Italy—DND

    By Philip C. Tubeza

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    3:23 am | Friday, August 3rd, 2012

    At last, the Philippines will be getting real warships.

    Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said the government was planning to buy next year its first two modern warships armed with surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles and capable of hunting down submarines in the West Philippine Sea.

    Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said this would be the first time that the Philippines would have warships with missiles and other modern armaments.

    Gazmin said the Department of National Defense was looking to acquire the missile frigates from the Italian Navy. The two Maestrale-class frigates cost P11.7 billion.

    “These are warships,” Gazmin said in a press conference. “They have antisubmarine capabilities and surface-to-air missiles. This is really for battle. We could get the frigates by November next year.”

    He said the frigates would be “more lethal” than the Hamilton-class cutters the US Coast Guard was selling to the Philippines.

    The Maestrale class of frigates was initially commissioned for the Italian Navy in 1982. They were primarily designed for antisubmarine warfare but are also capable of fighting on the surface and shooting down aircraft.

    Equipped with several electronic warfare systems, these ships also have torpedoes, long-range guns and automatic weapons.

    The Italian Navy will retire these frigates next January, Manalo said.

  6. #16
    Philippine Air Force to get new warplanes by 2014

    Agence France-Presse

    10:11 pm | Friday, July 6th, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines, which is now embroiled in a territorial dispute with China, is set to acquire new warplanes in two years to upgrade its poorly-equipped air force, the defense minister said Friday.

    Attack aircraft, lead-in fighter-trainers, attack helicopters and light and medium transport aircraft were all expected to be delivered within two years, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

    Speaking at the 65th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, Gazmin said “these aircraft shall once and for all, erase the ironic and naughty commentary that our present airforce is all air, devoid of force.”

    The defense department also plans to sign contracts by July 31 to implement 138 military modernization projects over the next five years, he added, without saying how much the contracts would cost or who would supply such equipment.

    The Philippines has one of the most poorly-equipped militaries in the region, having retired the last of its fighter jets in 2005.

    The weakness of the military was highlighted when the Philippines got into a standoff with China in April over the Scarborough Shoal, an outcropping of rocks in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) that both countries claim as their territory.

    China claims nearly all of the West Philippine Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighboring countries. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

    The two countries also have wider territorial disputes over parts of the Spratly islands in the West Philippine Sea .

    Gazmin did not mention the territorial dispute but stressed that air force personnel were all over the archipelago, including the West Philippine Sea.

    The Philippines has looked to its main defense ally, the United States, to help it upgrade its armed forces but President Benigno Aquino said in an interview in May, that it was looking for aircraft from outside the US as well.

  7. #17
    Philippines to acquire 10 new attack helicopters

    Agence France-Presse

    5:18 pm | Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines will acquire 10 attack helicopters starting next year in a bid to boost the capabilities of the poorly equipped military, an air force spokesman said Wednesday.

    Italy, Britain, France, Russia and South Africa are all being eyed to supply the helicopters, Lieutenant Colonel Miguel Okol said, although he declined to specify which models were being considered.

    The brand-new machines will upgrade the fleet of US-made MG-520 light attack helicopters that the air force has been using since the 1990s.

    “What we are going to get are armed attack helicopters… that can carry more payload than the MG-520,” Okol told AFP.

    He declined to specify the cost of the acquisition but said the government had already allocated the required funds.

    The new aircraft will be used for “internal security operations, border security and support operations,” he said.

    The Philippines is battling communist insurgents in rural areas throughout the archipelago, as well as Muslim extremists in the troubled southern regions.

    In recent months tensions have also risen with China over conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea, but Okol said the acquisition of the attack helicopters was unrelated.

    The tensions with China have highlighted the weakness of the Philippine military, which is one of the most poorly quipped in the region, relying largely on surplus US equipment.

    The Philippines has been refurbishing its ageing MG-520 helicopters, other military sources said.

    The country has recently been stepping up its modernization efforts and plans to acquire new fighter-trainer jets and attack and transport planes by 2014, the defense secretary said earlier.

  8. #18
    Philippines plans to acquire 2 warfare choppers

    By Frances Mangosing

    6:46 pm | Monday, November 19th, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines—The Department of National Defense is looking into acquiring two new anti-submarine warfare helicopters for the Philippine Navy as part of the military’s upgrade efforts.

    “This is part of the modernization program that we will implement in the next five years,” Department of National Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told reporters Monday by phone.

    The undersecretary noted, however, that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has yet to issue the consent for the acquisition of the helicopters pending the approval of the AFP Modernization Law.

    “Without the modernization law we will have no budget (for this acquisition),” he explained.

    The helicopters are planned to be assigned to the Maestrale-class missile-firing frigates from Italy that is to be acquired next year.

  9. #19
    New Sokol choppers amaze Philippine troops

    By Frances Mangosing

    2:55 am | Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

    MANILA, Philippines—Philippine troops and civilians were awed by the latest military air asset acquisitions, which went on test flights Monday afternoon, a military spokesman said.

    In a press briefing Tuesday, Colonel Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said the Sokol choppers, which flew from Clark Air Base in Pampanga, amazed the troops and civilians at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija where the aircraft passed by.

    He said, “The troops were impressed with the capabilities of the Sokol choppers as they executed several air maneuvers.

    Major Enrico Ileto of the 7th Infantry Division said the Philippine Army Aviation Battalion of the Light Armor Division stationed at Fort Magsaysay may have been the first Army unit to establish radio contact with the brand-new choppers.

    “Pulse rates ran high with enthusiasm for soldiers assigned here when they noticed a unique chopping sound of the air in the background being accustomed to the thud of a Huey helicopter or any other rotary aircraft the Armed Forces Philippines has,” he said.

    The helicopters, half of the originally eight scheduled for delivery were from Augusta PZL SWIDNIK of Italy and Poland, arrived last week at Clark Air Base.

    The Sokol helicopter or “Falcon” in Polish, is a “more capable utility platform” and can be fitted with equipment depending on the mission that makes it an “ideal utility helicopter” for the air force, he said. It has night vision goggle-capabilities and is equipped with an SN 350 autopilot, which means it “can fly hands free especially in long transit flights.”

    While the Huey can carry only seven passengers, the Sokol can accommodate 10 passengers with a maximum takeoff weight of 14, 110 lbs. and an endurance of three hours and 19 minutes. It can reach a maximum range of 402 nautical miles in a single flight with airspeed of 140.5 knots, Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Miguel Ernesto Okol earlier said.

    “The Sokol is fitted with gun mounts for the M60D machine gun on both sides and when utilized during search- and-rescue or over-water operations, it can be equipped with pilot-controlled emergency flotation gear attached to the lowest portion of the aircraft. It can also perform various missions other than combat to support the country’s peace and development efforts,” he added.

    The acquisition cost is P2.8 billion and the procurement has undergone “rigid screening process.” The rest of the helicopters are expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2012 or first quarter of 2013.

  10. #20
    I guess this means he'll be seen even less at Ateneo games in UAAP Season 76...

    Bautista new AFP chief

    Son of a general killed by Moro rebels in 1977

    By Michael Lim Ubac, Nikko Dizon

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    12:08 am | Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

    The son of a general who was killed by Moro rebels 35 years ago is the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    Lt. Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista was a freshman cadet at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) when his father was killed.

    On Tuesday, President Aquino named him AFP chief of staff.

    Bautista, the bemedaled commanding general of the Philippine Army, will take over as the 44th AFP chief of staff at the turnover of command on Thursday, three days ahead of the mandatory retirement of Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa, according to deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

    Bautista is the son of the late Brig. Gen. Teodulfo Bautista, who was killed along with 33 other military officers and men, by rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), on Oct. 10, 1977, in Patikul, Sulu province.

    The elder Bautista was lured by Usman Sali, an MNLF commander, into a meeting in Patikul with a promise to talk about a ceasefire. To show his goodwill, Teodulfo Bautista came to the meeting unarmed. Only one soldier survived the massacre.

    “I will only have closure on my father’s death if we forge a lasting peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” Bautista said over dinner with Philippine Daily Inquirer reporters and editors last November.

    The Aquino administration had by then just signed a Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro with the MILF.

    Bautista had said that he continues to visit the site where his father and his men were killed, more than 30 years after their deaths.

    Class of 1981

    Bautista is a graduate of the PMA. He belongs to the “Dimalupig” Class of 1981, just like Alan Purisima, the newly appointed director general of the Philippine National Police.

    Previously, Bautista was commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, deputy chief of staff for operations, a brigade commander (702nd Infantry Brigade, 7th Infantry Division), and assistant deputy chief of staff for plans and program.

    Bautista, who completed his master’s degree in public administration at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, has 26 Military Merit Medals, five Military Commendation Medals, two Distinguished Service Star Awards, two Gold Cross Medals, one Bronze Cross Medal, two Combat Commander “K” Badges, among many other awards and commendations.

    He was also a graduate of a war fighting course at the Joint Forces Staff College in Virginia, USA, and a tactics course in New Zealand.

    Thanks to Dellosa

    “We thank outgoing AFP Chief of Staff Dellosa for having served the country and our uniformed personnel with exemplary dedication and commitment,” Malacañang said in a statement.

    “We look forward to the stint of the incoming AFP chief of staff in continuing the reforms set in motion by the President and implemented by his predecessors in advancing the interests of our soldiers and the enhancement of the defense capabilities of our country,” it said.

    Commissioned on March 15, 1981, Bautista will retire on July 20, 2014. He was born in Quezon City on July 20, 1958. He is married to Bernardita P. Bautista.

    Prior to his appointment as Army chief in November 2011, Bautista, who will turn 55 in July, had been assigned to various posts around the country, but never in Sulu.

    After graduating from the PMA in 1981 he readily asked to be assigned in Sulu with the 1st Infantry Division, the unit his father commanded before his death. His request was denied and, as a compromise, he was assigned to Lanao del Norte, another province in Mindanao.

    As a lieutenant, Bautista served in Mindanao as a platoon leader of the 26th Infantry Battalion from 1981 to 1983. He also saw action in the Visayas as the leader of the 7th Scout Ranger Company from 1987 to 1989.

    He was also the commander of the 702nd Infantry Brigade of the 7th Infantry Division, which cleared areas in Central Luzon of communist influence from 2008 to 2009.

    Appointment welcomed

    The military on Tuesday welcomed the appointment of Bautista.

    “We are confident that Lieutenant General Bautista would be able to continue the current programs, initiatives and reforms being undertaken by the AFP for the fulfillment of the goals of Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan and the accomplishment of its constitutional mandate,” said military spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos in a statement.

    It was Bautista himself who crafted IPSP Bayanihan, the current anti-insurgency campaign of the government anchored on a multi-sectoral effort of “winning the peace” instead of carrying out a bloody campaign to end the decades-long insurgency problem of the country.

    Bautista’s focus on “winning the peace” takes root in the violent death of his father.

    Bautista is also focused on reforming the image of the Army, and now as military chief, expectedly the entire Armed Forces.

    He was very supportive of the Army Transformation Road Map, which he said aims to change the “tarnished” image of the Army because of allegations of human rights violations, among others.

    Burgos said Bautista’s appointment as AFP chief of staff was “timely as the implementation of the IPSP Bayanihan shifts to high gear on its third year of implementation.”

    “Being the chief architect of IPSP Bayanihan and now at the helm of the AFP, we are highly optimistic that he will be able to lead and enable the organization to make vital progress and significant developments that will help the organization and its partner agencies and stakeholders to achieve the shared goals of a just and lasting peace for our country,” Burgos said.

    Moreover, the AFP is hopeful that under Bautista’s leadership, the military’s modernization and capability upgrade program will “further take a momentous step forward in our intent to achieve a minimum credible defense posture,” Burgos said. With Frances Mangosing,

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