Imee Marcos to AFP: Defend our fishermen or equip them so they can defend themselves

Imee Marcos to AFP: Defend our fishermen or equip them so they can defend themselves

 

Senator Imee Marcos has provided a simple solution to the issue of our fishermen in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

She made it public her support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) call to organize civilian forces in response to the reported swarming of Chinese militia against Filipino fishermen in the area.

(photo credit to owner)


“The Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG), also known as the Philippine Navy SEALs, should expand recruitment and ratchet up multiplier forces in fishing communities,” Marcos said

The lady senator took note of the statement of admission by the Department of National Defense(DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a Senate hearing that the AFP has attained less than 25% of its “minimum credible defense” due to budget constraints and legal hurdles to procuring military supplies and equipment.

A bill filed in the senate by Marcos (Senate Bill 1871) which seeks to address limited defense funding by reviving the Self-Reliance Defense Posture Program (SRDP) implemented by Presidential Decree 415 in 1974, which promoted the local manufacture of military supplies and equipment, from firearms to vehicles, while conserving foreign exchange resources.

“The SRDP program was able to manufacture armaments with maximum utilization of indigenous materials and to save dollars,” Marcos said.

The senator from Ilocos Norte enumerated such armaments as the M16 Assault Rifle, 60mm Mortar Tube, 81mm Mortar Tube and gun barrels, as well as the MKII hand grenade and 5.56mm and 81mm mortar ammunition that the SRDP program produced.

“We were also able to produce in the 70’s vehicles like the jiffy jeeps, mini cruisers, hovercraft, speed boats, marcelo boats, PCF, LCVP and whale boat,” Marcos added.

Marcos revealed that the Philippines’ estimated defense spending of US$3.47 billion ranks only sixth among ASEAN countries, according to a Global Asia report.

The Seoul-based East Asia Foundation’s publication added that Singapore has allotted US$11.2 billion; Indonesia, US$7.6 billion; Thailand, US$7.1 billion; Vietnam, US$5.5 billion; and Malaysia, US$4 billion.

 

 

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