The Philippines had considered adding two submarines to its shopping list for its military modernization program.

This was found out amid the late hearings of the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) when it affirmed three senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) despite the fact that they were absent as the leadership of the AFP submitted to the CA clarifications for their nonappearance. One of the three was Navy Capt. Vincent J. Sibala.

Rep. Antonio A. del Rosario, chairman of the CA National Defense Committee, told his colleagues during the CA plenary session presided by Senate President Franklin M. Drilon, concurrent CA chairman, that Sibala is in Kiel, Germany, undergoing schooling on submarine warfare.

Kiel Germany

Commission on appointment has confirmed last Wednesday that Sibala was one of the 105 senior AFP officials included. Heading that list was Hernando Delfin Carmelo A. Iriberri, as the 46th AFP chief of staff and as a four-star general.

Del Rosario answered in the confirmed when asked by a media, whether the nation has without a doubt added a submarine to its shopping list.

The planned submarine acquisition is under the proposed P25-billion AFP modernization program. That program, according to Del Rosario, includes airplanes and helicopters.

He couldn’t give points of interest on the AFP modernization program since his obligation, he said, is fixated on choosing whether or not a military officer is fit to hold such office.

Del Rosario said the AFP should complete its purchasing project before the six’s end year term of President Aquino which closes June 30, 2016.

He remarked that what the Philippines needs is peace, “yet we would prefer not to be bullied and harassed,” alluding to the present maritime dispute between the Philippines and China.

Inquired and asked as to whether the submarine and other cutting edge military equipment being acquired are sufficient to face a major military force, he answered that even ants can bite.

By Jason E.


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