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Duterte confident AFP modernization program ‘already paying off’

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 21:45 PM Fri Feb 12, 2021
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By: 
Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/PNA
NEW COMBAT HELICOPTERS. President Rodrigo Duterte inspects the newly-delivered air assets displayed at the Haribon Hangar of the Clark Air Base in Pampanga accompanied by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go (left) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (right)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed confidence that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program is “already paying off,” considering the significant gains achieved by the military to maintain peace and order in the country.

In a speech delivered before his troops at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Duterte said he had approved the proposed acquisition of more combat utility helicopters for the AFP to allow soldiers to fulfill their role in protecting the entire nation.

“Recently, I have approved the proposal to acquire more combat utility [helicopters for] the AFP. With our recent gains against various terror groups, I am confident that our efforts under the AFP Modernization Program are already paying off,” Duterte said.

During his visit to Pampanga, Duterte also led the inspection of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) newly-delivered air assets displayed at the Haribon Hangar.

The air assets include one unit of C-130H, six units of S70i Blackhawk Utility Helicopters, six units of A-29B Super Tucanos, six units of Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and four units of Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial.

The new helicopters were delivered in the country after Duterte ordered the decommissioning of all the PAF’s UH-1H “Huey” combat utility aircraft helicopters following the Jan. 16 crash in Bukidnon.

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