Some P83.9 billion pesos or $1.77 billion is expected to be spent for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the
(AFP) in 2017. This is in addition to 56.79 billion pesos already spent for the
same purpose. This was disclosed to the nation by President Benigno Aquino III
during the ceremony that marked the 80th anniversary of the AFP. Philippines
All these purported purchases are intended to increase the defense capacity of this country in the face of territorial dispute with
. This is a good policy. It is
not that we will match the military might of China China
or we can stop ’s
aggression. None of this is in the equation. China China
is too big, powerful, and rich for a small country like the to
The main point here is not to resign to our fate, like an animal lying flat on the ground in the face of a roaring tiger. This country must strengthen itself. And it must fight off any aggression from without.
However, the sad part of this military build-up is that if the armed mess in
Mindanao is not resolved, these war materials including
the supersonic jetfighters will be used against the Moro insurgents. In fact,
they have been used already in the military campaigns in Basilan and Sulu,
which victimized not only legitimate targets like Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) but
even including peaceful civilians.
There is another sad part of it, this time it is demerit on the side of the AFP. A sizeable portion of the AFP will be deployed in
or elsewhere to contain the threat within. Consequently, instead of
focusing on external defense, the AFP will also be forced to fight an internal
If these conflicts intensify on both fronts, what will happen to this country? We do not want to paint a grim scenario. Let us just hope that nothing of this sort will ever come our way.
The resolution of the conflict in
therefore, is both tactically and strategically beneficial to the interests of
this country. We do not see any wisdom of delaying the passage of the
Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress. Any delay is counter-productive – it
only feeds on the appetite of so-called radicals and terrorists.
Those lawmakers who are spoiling or filibustering the passage of the BBL, in the guise of securing constitution-compliant law, should be talked to and urged to conduct soul-searching exercise. Good if that is really their motives. If otherwise, then they are not really doing any service to this country. On the contrary, they are courting problems for this country.
But if the proposed law is not enacted into law, the spoilers are not the only ones to be faulted. Much in the loop is leadership.