Former Defense Chief: Philippines Not Ready VS Threats

Enrile: “We have no preparedness whatsoever. That’s a fact.” (Photo from http://philippinesdaily.org/enrile-asks-court-let-stay-hospital/)

During the October 15, 2015 Senate Deliberation on the DND’s budget., Philippine Senator and former Defense Chief Juan Ponce Enrile, reprimands the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for not being prepared against both internal and external security threats.  With respect to the defense agency’s Php186.8B proposal for FY2016. The nonagenarian strongly urged Voltaire Gazmin, current DND chief to “Work it out and tell Malacanang” that “the budget is not enough.” “The amount of your budget is miniscule to the needs of this country,” he adds.

“The amount of your [defense] budget is miniscule to the needs of this country.”

Despite hearing problems, Enrile lectures the DND officials on how to handle external threats, specifically the South China Sea / West Philippine Sea dispute with China. If and when China attacks the Philippines, he advices the defense officials not to rely on the U.S.

He says that, “We have to assess this by ourselves and not rely on what these political U.S. leaders say. You know, the U.S. is going to pull out in the world scene. They are going back to their position in pre-World War II. So you have to think about that; what would be the impact on us.”

”We have to assess this by ourselves and not rely on what these political U.S. leaders say. You know, the U.S. is going to pull out in the world scene. They are going back to their position in pre-World War II.”

During the budget deliberations, the DND officials report that out of the total PhP405 billion provided in the two Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Laws since 1995, only PhP83 billion had been spent for the modernization program.

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Senate Finance Committee chairperson Senator Loren Legarda believes that Congress is remiss in its commitment to provide enough funds for the AFP modernization program.

”So how do we expect the AFP to fulfill its mandate of protecting our seas, our skies, our land, our territories, 100 million population, our climate change threats, internal threats and external threats if we do not have even half of the budget of the two AFP modernization laws?” Legarda laments.

”So how do we expect the AFP to fulfill its mandate of protecting our seas, our skies, our land, our territories… internal threats and external threats if we do not have even half of the budget of the two AFP modernization laws?”

In an interview after the budget hearing, Enrile said, “We have no preparedness whatsoever. That’s a fact.”

“We have no preparedness whatsoever. That’s a fact.”

Sources:


  1. Enrile says DND, AFP unprepared vs. internal, external threats
  2. Enrile urges defense officials to ask Palace to increase DND’s budget

About the Author

Amang Laya
Amang Laya
Amang Laya is the South China Sea News Today's contributor-at-large. He is a graduate of the University of the Philippines. He spends his days monitoring the latest news and views on the South China Sea Dispute.

2 Comments on "Former Defense Chief: Philippines Not Ready VS Threats"

  1. Fay L. Dumagat | October 29, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Reply

    All of our leaders have been remiss of their duties to protect our country from both internal and external threats because they have been relying on US promises and agreements on “mutual security.” The late Sen. Claro M. Recto had been vocal in pointing out that such “mutual security” with the US will only serve as magnet that will attract nuclear missiles of US enemies to rain on strategic sites on Philippine soil but the US will be slow on sending military assistance or protection to the Philippines until the American Congress had approved any American military mobilization to protect the Philippines. The reason: There was no provision in those security agreements for an “automatic military response” by the US should there be any hostile military attack against the Philippines by enemies of the US and the Philippines. Any country or state that does not have the will to protect itself from its enemies does not deserve to exist as an independent state. And leaders who rely on other states for their country’s security do not deserve to lead the country. This is almost tantamount to treason and must be treated with suspicion and severely punished for advocating such policy of dependence for military security on other states. We Pilipinos should listen to the wisdom of Sen. Enrile although he was equally remiss of helping prepare our country for an independent security policy and military capability to engage any enemy. During the Ramos Administration, Russia had been exporting military hardware, including submarines, and perhaps even nuclear device at very low prices. The Philippines should have taken advantage of this opportunity to acquire credible military hardware. We must learn from past experiences of US “double tongue” as American Indians label US promises & treaties. How did the Americans honor their agreement with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo? How did the US honor the promises of Gen. Douglas MacArthur to President Quezon and other Philippine leaders before and during World War II, that the US will pay for all damages in the Philippines due to Pilipino support to the American war cause in World War II? The Americans granted the Japanese a “Mini-Marshall Plan” that helped Japan recover from the ashes of World War II. On the other hand, the Americans niggardly granted some rehabilitation fund for the Philippines with so many strings attached including such seemingly beneficial provision for a “sugar quota at fixed prices” in the American market which was designed to win the loyalty of the Pilipino sugar barons who controlled the Philippine government. Let us wake up from our stupidity, fellow Pilipinos. Let us learn the lessons of history if we are to survive as an independent nation. Let us learn from the history of the Israelis and the way they became a strong nation, able to withstand attacks of their enemies from all directions.

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