Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa with President Duterte. Also in photo are Senators Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel.
By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa underscored the need to fund the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) following the crash of one of the Philippine Air Force’s choppers last weekend.
In his manifestation of support for Majority Floor Leader Senator Migz Zubiri’s privilege speech on the same topic during Senate session on Tuesday, January 19, Dela Rosa urged his fellow legislators to support the AFP Modernization Program, which will enhance the state force’s defense capabilities and buttress the efforts to preserve the patrimony of the country.
“This recent incident, the unfortunate death of our Air Force personnel, only highlights the need to constantly fund our Armed Forces in order to ensure the fruition of the AFP Modernization Program. It will not only boost our country’s defense against threats on its sovereignty but also ensure that our AFP can effectively and fully perform its constitutional mandate of preserving the patrimony of our country,” Dela Rosa said.
“A well-funded AFP Modernization Program will also ensure the safety of our soldiers whose lives are put at stake in order to serve our countrymen,” he continued.
The senator, who chairs the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, noted that the issue of funding the modernization program for the armed forces was already raised during the budget hearing of the defense department in the Senate last year. He added that there is an urgent need to acquire additional modern equipment as well as the constant maintenance checks on the existing aircrafts to ensure the safety of soldiers.
“It bears reiterating that the constant maintenance of our aircrafts as well as the procurement of new and modern equipment is essential to guarantee that the sacrifices and lives of our soldiers will not merely be put to waste because of ‘engine trouble’ only,” Dela Rosa noted.
The senator expressed sympathy to the families of the soldiers who died in a chopper crash while on a military mission recently.
The seven soldiers died as a Philippine Airforce UH-1 “Huey” chopper crashed in a rice field in Bukidnon on Saturday afternoon, January 16. Authorities said that the chopper was on a resupply mission to a unit of the 403rd Infantry Brigade. (AI/MTVN)