Philippines Military Thread, Economy , News and Updates

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by Malaya, Feb 14, 2013.

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  1. Malaya
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    Malaya FULL MEMBER

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    There are Military News Updates for our fellow ASEAN brothers particularly Vietnamese and Indonesians. So I think it’s okay if I create a thread for the Filipinos as well.

    [IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/54xil2.png[/IMG]

    Emblem of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

    This is a discussion thread for the Latest Philippine Military News and Economy and News Updates.

    [IMG]http://i45.tinypic.com/10dw3t4.jpg[/IMG]

    [To all my fellow Pinoy members pakitulungan nalang ako sa pag-update dito. Maraming Salamat.]
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  2. Malaya
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    US firm offering 21 Hueys for P1.2B to Phl
    By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 14, 2013

    MANILA, Philippines - A California-based firm is offering the government 21 UH-1 or Huey helicopters for P1.2646 billion for use in the May elections.

    The Air Force made the request for additional Hueys in 2011.

    The offer was accepted because the amount is lower than the allotted P1.2649 billion.

    Rice Aircraft Services Inc. was the sole bidder for the helicopters.

    It was declared an eligible bidder after submitting all the necessary documentary requirements to the Bids and Awards Committee.

    Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told The STAR the helicopters will be delivered by March 31, weeks before the elections.

    The helicopters will enable the Air Force to meet the airlift requirements during the May polls, he added.

    Originally, two firms submitted bids for the delivery of the helicopters. However, the other bidder – Israel-based Radom Aviation Systems Ltd. – backed out.

    Radom reportedly wrote to the defense department about its decision to withdraw its bid.

    Defense officials said the company did not say why it was backing out.

    Rice cannot yet be declared the winning bidder as it has to pass the post-qualification requirements that the defense department had set.

    The post-qualification stage seeks to determine whether the bid is responsive to the technical and financial requirements of the project.

    Rice can only be named the winning bidder after it receives a notice of award from the government.

    The UH-1 is the primary helicopter of the Air Force.

    US firm offering 21 Hueys for P1.2B to Phl | Headlines, News, The Philippine Star | philstar.com


    PHL LOOKING FOR NAVAL SHIPS WITH FRIGATE CAPABILITIES

    MANILA, Feb. 13 (PNA) -- With the contract on the country's next-generation fighter aircraft almost a done deal, Defense spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez Wednesday said the Philippines is determined to acquire naval ships with "frigate capabilities" to help it protect and defend its 36,289 km coastline.



    Galvez made the announcement when asked if the DND is in the market for modern offshore patrol vessels to boost the numbers of the Philippines Navy.



    "(We are looking for ships with) frigate capabilities," he added.

    The country has allocated around P11.7 billion to acquire two modern ships of the frigate type to backstop the aging naval assets of the PN by 2014.

    Frigates are ships optimized for anti-submarine warfare and have a limited ability to engage aerial targets.

    They are usually armed with surface-to-surface air missiles, anti-aircraft rockets, torpedoes and a variety of guns.

    The DND earlier said five countries have expressed their intention to sell the Philippines modern frigates and offshore patrol vessels which will help the country protect its vast maritime territories.

    Offers came from the United States, Israel, Croatia, South Korea and even Australia.

    All vessels being offered by these nations are brand new.

    Offers of the above-mentioned countries started coming during the last quarter of 2012.

    The DND attributed the sudden influx of would-be-suppliers to the fact the Philippine is now seriously upgrading its military forces. (PNA)

    http://ptvnews.ph/index.php/bottom-news-life2/11-11-nation-submenu/12538-phl-looking-for-naval-ships-with-frigate-capabilities
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  3. Malaya
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    Canadian Military Ship On A Goodwill Tour To Philippines

    [img]http://1-ps.googleusercontent.com/h/globalnation.inquirer.net/files/2013/02/600x450xHMCS-regina.jpg.pagespeed.ic.-xp2j-tYnT.jpg[/img]

    In a bid to strengthen the strong relations between the two countries, the Royal Canadian Navy has been on a goodwill tour to the Philippines.

    Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina has arrived at the port of Manila Tuesday and the Royal Canadian military ship will be in the country till Feb 16, according to Canada's Ambassador to the Philippines Christopher Thornley.

    "I am pleased to welcome HMCS Regina, its officers and crew to Manila. The Philippines has always been a very good host to our fleet and I know this visit will further strengthen a relationship that bridges the Pacific Ocean," Philippine newspaper Sun Star quoted the Canadian ambassador as saying.

    Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic, acting spokesperson of the Philippine Navy, told the media that the goodwill visit was a chance for them to learn from their Canadian counterparts.

    "The ship tour and exchange of expertise would provide added knowledge to our personnel," said Fabic in a phone interview with the Philippine newspaper Phil Star.

    The acting spokesperson also told the paper that the two navies would also engage in friendly games to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

    This is the first goodwill visit by the Canadian navy department since 1996.

    The military has around 250 personnel onboard and is the fifth of 12 Halifax-Class frigates that have served the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992.

    Canadian Military Ship On A Goodwill Tour To Philippines - International Business Times
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  4. Malaya
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    DND getting 2 new warships

    [img]http://imageshack.us/a/img805/6880/gen3.jpg[/img]

    MANILA, Philippines - Two warships will be purchased for the Navy to boost maritime security.

    In a phone interview yesterday, Peter Galvez, Department of National Defense spokesman, said the acquisition is being fast-tracked.

    “We’re giving ourselves until the end of the first quarter to finalize bidding for the frigates,” he said. “We are confident that we can follow the timeline and we can do it within the first quarter.”

    Earlier, defense officials said about P11.7 billion would be allotted for the warships.

    Originally, the government had intended to acquire the vessels through government-to-government transactions. However, offers from different countries had prompted senior security officials to opt for public bidding.

    A government-to-government transaction is usually faster than public bidding.

    However, the DND is optimistic that the acquisition of the vessels would not be delayed.

    Earlier, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said public bidding would ensure transparency and allow the comparison of the ships being offered.

    DefenseUndersecretary Fernando Manalo earlier said about six countries have offered to provide frigates to the Navy. Among them are the US, South Korea, Spain, Israel, Croatia and Australia.

    These countries are cognizant of the government’s determination to upgrade the military’s capabilities, Manalo said.

    Previously, Italy offered two Maestrale-class missile-firing warships with anti-aircraft, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities.

    The Philippines has acquired two warships from the US.

    The BRP Gregorio del Pilar arrived last year and the BRP Ramon Alcaraz is expected by April.

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/02/11/907328/dnd-getting-2-new-warships
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  5. Malaya
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    Spain offers corvettes Philippines "Discovered" to assert against China

    [img]http://staticsdcritico.elmon.netdna-cdn.com/fotos/noticias/ed/dd/8e/70/229588.jpg?nocache=73a8161bb97f6fdbe4ecc54d8f051fbf[/img]

    The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo de Benito, offered the Executive Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of the Philippines, Paquito Ochoa, the technology of our customs supervision and corvettes like "Discovery", manufactured by Navantia, to reaffirm the sovereignty of its waters off China's claim. Philippines has requested assistance from the Spanish experts to argue its sovereignty over the Bajo de Masinloc (also known as Scarborough Shoal) and other disputed maritime areas.

    España ofrece a Filipinas corbetas 'Descubierta' para reafirmarse frente a China



    Philippine Navy Eyeing Anti-Submarine Copters

    MANILA, Philippinee --- The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at equipping three naval helicopters due for delivery in 2014 with anti-submarine gears to further enable the aircraft to detect intruders in Philippine waters.

    A senior defense official was referring to the three AugustaWestland AW109 naval helicopters, the contract of agreement of which was signed Dec. 20 last year. With a net price of P1,337,176,584, the three rotary wing aircraft are expected to be delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2014.

    Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had earlier said that the acquisition of these naval helicopters is one concrete step toward the fulfillment of the government’s goal of modernizing the Philippine Navy (PN), and the AFP in general.

    This early, a DND official said they are considering the installation of anti-submarine equipment to the AW109 helicopter to make it more capable in detecting undersea intruders.

    The equipment being considered will include the so-called dipping sonar and magnetic anomaly detection device.

    But due to weight constraints, specialized anti-submarine weapons like homing torpedoes will not be fitted. Instead, the helicopters will be used to detect and track the submarine target and forward its location to the two new frigates the country is expected to acquire in the next two years.

    The ships, which are expected to be fitted with anti-submarine weapons, will have the job of neutralizing or driving away from Philippines waters these intruders.

    http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/393302/philippine-navy-eyeing-antisubmarine-copters#.UR0X8IenpPl
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  6. p3avi8tor69
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    p3avi8tor69 FULL MEMBER

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    Hmmm, I thought Philippines bought another US Coast guard cutter and a couple of Italian frigates?
  7. Fsjal
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    Good one, but it's best not to cause trouble. Anyway, this is a thread about Philippine military.
  8. Malaya
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    Malaya FULL MEMBER

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    read post #4
    This troll doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    The International Hydrographic Organization defines the Philippine Sea as "that area of the North Pacific Ocean off the Eastern coasts of the Philippine Islands"

    [IMG]http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/willow/geography-of-philippines0.gif[/IMG]

    Don’t worry because the world recognizes that we don’t own every island found in Philippines Sea. Unlike Chinese attitude “What is mine is mine and what is yours is MINE TOO".

    [IMG]http://i47.tinypic.com/qybh1z.jpg[/IMG]
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  9. Malaya
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    US, Philippines boost defence ties amid China row

    [img]http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/sites/default/files/imagecache/ra_article_feature/images/2013/02/15/4490582-3x2-700x467_1.jpg[/img]

    The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has called the Philippines Foreign Minister is discuss strengthening security and military relations between the two allies. (Credit: Reuters)


    The United States has agreed to strengthen its defence and security ties with the Philippines, as well as supporting its long-time ally in a territorial dispute with China.

    The United States and the Philippines have agreed to deepen their countries' cooperation on defence and security.

    Newly-installed US Secretary of State John Kerry has also expressed his country's support to take a territorial row between the Philippines and China to the United Nations.

    The backing is the most high-profile support the Philippines has received since challenging China's territorial claims at a United Nations tribunal.

    The US Government has previously said it would not take sides in the rift over disputed islands in the South China Sea.

    In a phone conversation, Mr Kerry and the Philippines Foreign Minister have both agreed to deepen their countries' cooperation on defence and security.

    This would include enhancing military exercises and helping build the Philippines' capacity to defend its territory.

    The Philippines admits to having a a poorly equipped military, with mostly ageing and second-hand fleets.

    The country has frequently looked to its allies for help in improving its defence capability.

    China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the shores of its neighbours.

    The claim is contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, which have overlapping claims to some or all of those same areas.

    The dispute led to a maritime standoff last year between the Philippines and China over the Scarborough Shoal.

    http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/in...nes-boost-defence-ties-amid-china-row/1089342
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  10. Malaya
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    Philippines moves close to historic peace deal with Islamist rebels
    After 40 years of conflict and 120,000 deaths, a self-governing Muslim entity could be a reality within weeks after an accord inspired by Good Friday agreement

    [img]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2013/2/13/1360766153328/Muslim-separatist-rebels--008.jpg[/img]
    Muslim separatist rebels from the MILF conduct combat exercise at a guerrilla camp in Mindanao. Photograph: Mark Navales/AFP/Getty Images


    Since 9/11, it has sometimes seemed as if the world has become consumed by battles with Islamist terrorists. From Iraq to Afghanistan, via Mali and Algeria, commentators have long argued that we are witness to a clash of civilisations.

    But in the Philippines, the story is very different. After 40 years of revolutionary struggle over land, resources and religion that has claimed 120,000 lives and displaced more than 2 million people, a hardline Islamist rebel movement is slowly but surely coming in from the cold in the lawless south.

    Inspired in part by the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland, and encouraged by a reformist presidency in Manila, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has broken with al-Qaida-linked regional terrorist groups blamed for the Bali nightclub bombings and cast its lot for peace.

    In a historic break with the past, Benigno Aquino, the Philippines president, visited the MILF stronghold in Mindanao earlier this week to meet rebel leaders and launch a new joint development programme to underwrite the peace process.

    [img]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/2/11/1360605922533/Murad-Ebrahim-and-Benigno-002.jpg[/img]
    President Benigno Aquino, right, shares sweets with rebel leader Murad Ebrahim.


    Aquino said the government and MILF leaders were within weeks of finalising agreement on a joint transition commission, chaired by the rebels, that will oversee the creation of a new, self-governing Muslim political and geographical entity, the Bangsamoro – literally, the land of the Moro (derived from Moors, the name given to Mindanao's indigenous peoples by Spanish colonialists). "I think we're very, very close to agreements on all points," he said.

    If all goes to plan in the Malaysian-mediated talks and if a new basic law produced by the commission is ratified by the Philippines congress, the Bangsamoro state within a state will come into formal existence by 2016, when Aquino, a passionate advocate of the peace process, is due to step down.

    "When you look at the confrontations with Islamists in Mali, in Afghanistan, in Syria, and you see what's happening in Mindanao, it's a marvellous example of what can be done when you really want," a western analyst said.

    "We are almost there on the outstanding issues, we can say we feel guarded optimism," said Jun Mantawil, head of the MILF secretariat and a member of the front's negotiating team, in an interview in Cotabato City, in western Mindanao. "There is a big signing ceremony in prospect when the agreement is finalised. We're confident the president can get it through congress."

    Teresita "Ging" Quintos Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, and Miriam Coronel Ferrer, chair of the government's negotiating panel, interviewed in Manila, agreed there was a sound basis for optimism.

    "The road map on the table is real. I don't get a sense that it will break down now. The annexes [to last October's framework agreement] will be completed by March at the latest," Deles said. The transition commission would probably be unveiled this month.

    But Deles warned against over-inflated expectations. "We are engaged in a race against time. There is a limited window, and this has been transmitted to [the MILF]. The president has always said his capacity to deliver has a limited shelf life … the MILF can choose to go for a perfect agreement, or to go for a more limited package that you can be sure will be delivered," she said.

    Issues under discussion include territory, power-sharing, wealth-sharing, and normalisation, including demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration.

    Mantawil, the MILF negotiator, said there were "sticking points" over the extent of the maritime area the new Bangsamoro authority would control, and over future revenues from supposedly vast but so far unquantified oil and gas fields that lie beneath the inland Liguasan marsh and off the Sulu archipelago, to the west of Mindanao island.

    A 2006 cable from the US embassy in Manila, published by WikiLeaks, suggested the energy and mineral resources in MILF-controlled areas of Mindanao could be worth up to $1tn.

    Unconfirmed reports circulating in 2011, when Aquino kickstarted the peace process with a breakthrough meeting with the MILF chair, Murad Ibrahim, in Tokyo, claimed Washington was pushing Manila for a peace deal in order to open up the area for energy exploitation.

    What to do with the MILF's estimated 12,000 armed fighters is another vexed issue. The framework accord calls for the creation of an impartial civilian "police force for the Bangsamoro", the decommissioning of MILF cadres, and a handover of responsibility for security from the Philippines army to the new police force.

    International support will be sought to assist "combatant and noncombatant" rebel elements to return to normal life, it says.

    The negotiators' approach to policing and decommissioning was influenced by the British experience in Northern Ireland, Deles said. In an echo of the Good Friday agreement, the MILF has undertaken to put its weapons "beyond use".

    Britain is a member of an international contact group promoting a peace deal, along with Japan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. In his interview with the Guardian, Mantawil said he had visited London, Belfast and Dublin to study the peace process there.

    "It is a very similar situation to us [in Northern Ireland]," he said. "It was very encouraging for us. The Good Friday agreement is a bit of a model … decommissioning [of weapons] is very difficult to manage. In Northern Ireland they had a commission. Maybe we should, too."

    [img]http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/2/11/1360606224095/Teresita-Quintos-Deles-010.jpg[/img]
    Teresita Deles meets with Indonesian soldiers and conflict resolution experts. The presidential adviser has become known for her inclusive approach. Photograph: Aaron Favila/AP


    A recent report by the independent International Crisis Group struck a cautionary note. "The pact suggests fighters will help maintain peace and order while decommissioning is under way. But sceptics note there are plenty of thugs under the organisation's umbrella who should not be allowed to play any kind of policing role, formally or informally. The MILF understands these concerns …"

    Mantawil said the MILF had severed its ties with Abu Sayyaf, an al-Qaida affiliate active in the lawless Sulu archipelago that has a history of seizing western hostages for ransom, or else beheading them. Clashes last week between a MILF splinter group and Abu Sayyaf fighters in Jolo reportedly left 30 people dead.

    The MILF leader also distanced his organisation from Jemaah Islamiyah, the south-east Asian jihadist terror group that bombed Bali in 2002 and has launched attacks in Jakarta. "These people do not believe in peace. They are dissidents. We broke with them when they turned to terrorism. They are not one of us," Mantawil said.

    The prospective end to violence in Mindanao has inspired civil society organisations to launch an urgent drive to shape the peace, with the emphasis on raising living standards in the Philippines' most impoverished and economically deprived region and on ensuring equal rights for women.

    The international aid agency Oxfam has developed partnerships with local organisations to improve access to basic education and boost awareness of the peace process and indigenous people's rights. Known as the Oxfam Mindanao programme (OMP), the scheme is "designed to achieve sustainable livelihoods and greater protection for the Lumad [non-Muslim indigenous tribes], Moro, [and] small asset-holders".

    The OMP, due to run until 2014, has disbursed £3m to date. Oxfam is also supporting a coalition of groups intent on securing open and transparent governance.

    Aid workers said the prospect of a self-governing, semi-autonomous Bangsamoro, replacing the failed autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao set up by government fiat in the 1980s, has received a broad welcome. But they warn it could work to the disadvantage of some groups, especially women. The MILF says, for example, that it plans to extend the use of sharia law. What that will mean in practice is as yet unclear.

    In the Moro village of Macasampen, outside Cotabato City, Oxfam is backing a local group, known as UnYPhil (United Youth of the Philippines – Women) whose main aim is to provide assistance to women subjected to violence, sexual and physical abuse, or discrimination.

    Anna Bai, a UnYPhil activist, said the villagers had suffered greatly during the war between government troops and the MILF. "Sometimes gunfights would force us to leave the village several times a day. We were frightened and didn't know where to go. We didn't know whether we'd be alive the next day. The children were badly affected. They didn't want to go to school. Now they are frightened of loud noises. They have a phobia."

    Bai said most people in the village supported the Bangsamoro plan but admitted they did not know much about it. "We don't have a copy of the agreement. We listen to what the government and the MILF say." On the question of equal rights, "each woman should have her own livelihood that is protected", Bai said. But a continuing sense of insecurity meant many women were still "a bit afraid" to go to the fields and forests to work.

    Another villager, Aida Manpli, said her biggest worry was lack of money, a challenge common to most rural families. "I am a housewife," she said. "I take care of my four children. I want them to go to college. My eldest is 17. She wants to be a midwife. But I am telling her we probably can't afford it because my husband is a farmer."

    Deles said increased government spending on infrastructure and social and economic development, prioritising education, health and livelihoods, was central to the Bangsamoro road map. Some analysts predict that, if carefully managed, resource-rich Mindanao could one day become the industrial and agrarian powerhouse of the Philippines.

    "There is big development potential but it must be done in such a way that we do not create new problems and the benefits are shared. We must go carefully," Deles said.

    Despite widely shared optimism about the future, many other obstacles to a lasting peace remain. They include possible opposition from Christian settler groups, a stalemate in congress after crucial national elections due in May, a falling off in Aquino's current, remarkable popularity, and further splintering of the MILF if quick results are not forthcoming. The island rulers of the Sulu archipelago, for example, are notoriously unbiddable.

    Difficulties may also arise if the MILF does not take full account of the views of Mindanao's non-Muslim indigenous peoples, or Lumad, also known as the Bangsa-Mamalu, some of whose tribal leaders are now straining administrative coherence by seeking autonomous status within the new semi-autonomous Bangsamoro.

    Although the MILF has promised an inclusive approach, Mantawil insisted the front would have sole charge of the proposed Bangasamoro transition authority prior to planned elections in 2015.

    "Of course we must lead it. We fought for it for 40 years. We must have a clear majority," he said. Groups that opposed this were "counter-revolutionary".

    Asked about such demands, Deles exhibits a patient smile. "If this process is to work, no elements of the Bangsamoro should feel they are being excluded," she said. After decades of military campaigning, "the MILF needs to show they can now behave like a political organisation.

    "Every bit of the government is doing its bit to find a solution." "We cannot afford more damage to hope and confidence. We cannot afford not to have a happy ending."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/13/philippines-peace-deal-islamist-rebels
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  11. Malaya
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    Thailand warships on goodwill visit
    By Manila Standard Today

    [img]http://manilastandardtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/2013_Feb1613_metro1.jpg[/img]
    Capt. Adeluis Bordado, assitant chief of Naval Staff for Education and Training, greets Rear Admiral Sucheep Whoungmaitree and his officers on board HTMS Chaophraya of the Royal Thailand Navy. PN photo

    Three warships of the Royal Thailand Navy arrived in Manila Friday for a port call and goodwill visit.

    Philippine Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Gregory Gerald identified the ships as HMTS Chaophraya (455), HMTS Bangpakong (456), and HMTS Pattani(511).

    “They were officially accepted at 8 o’clock this morning (February 15, 2003) for a goodwill visit from Feb. 15 to 19,” he said. “The RTN ships are under the command of Rear Admiral Sucheep Whoungmaitree, the Commander of Royal Thailand Naval Cadet Training Unit.”

    The fleet is composed of 759 officers, naval cadets, enlisted personnel and non-military rank personnel.

    It was fetched at the vicinity of Corregidor Island at 5 a.m. And escorted by BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS-36) to the berthing area at Pier 13, South Harbor.

    Captain Adelius Bordado, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Education and Training (N8), welcomed Whoungmaitree and its party.

    Flag Officer In-Command Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano received the contingent in a ceremony at the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard.

    Fabic said Thai sailors are scheduled to do community outreach like classroom refurbishing at the Paco Elementary School, participate in games such as golf, football, and basketball at the Navy golf course and Bonifacio Naval Station grounds and gymnasium to be capped by a passing exercise by Philippine Navy ship on the fleet’s departure. Florante S. Solmerin

    Thailand warships on goodwill visit - Manila Standard Today
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  12. Malaya
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    Congress wants Filipino soldiers armed with modern equipment
    By Antonio Figueroa

    [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/30w1g8i.jpg[/IMG]

    Over a decade after the Modernization Act of 1995 of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was approved, the Aquino government is getting more support from Congress in its program to equip with latest arms the Filipino soldiers.

    This popular sentiment was voiced by Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, a prominent lawmaker from Western Samar, in central Philippines, who saw the need to upgrade existing AFP training centers and educational facilities designed to update the skills and capabilities of Filipino pilots and naval personnel with the latest military technologies.

    Samiento, vice-chair of the House Committee on National Defense, said in an emailed statement that instead of purchasing actual planes as trainers, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) should invest on upgradable simulation machines for modern helicopters, jets and latest weapons control.

    “Some air force accidents,” he stressed, “are caused by pilot error and these errors are too costly. Planes can be replaceable but human lives aren't,” adding than even the modern air forces and navies around the world now rely on the more cost-effective simulation machines.

    Apart from saving costs on the loss of lives and equipment during trainings,” he explained, “using simulation machines for trainings are more practical because it saves on fuel and minimize deterioration of equipment.

    “Filipino soldiers are among the most skillful warriors in the world but they are also the most primitive when it comes to know-how on the latest war-fighting technologies. It is therefore imperative that we don't just modernize our equipment but we should modernize our soldiers as well,” he said.

    Sarmiento’s pronouncement coincided with the statement made by American expert on Asian affairs Walter Lohman, director of US-based Asian Studies Center of Heritage, who urged the Philippines to strengthen its military force to assert its sovereignty over the contested territories in the West Philippine Sea.

    Despite the country’s recent move of bringing the Scarborough Shoal dispute with China before the International Arbitral tribunal, Lohman expected Beijing to continue to assert its claims “aggressively,” adding that by pushing back China legally, the Philippines should also possess a “credible military force.”

    The expert said that international law “is on the Philippine side” when it came to the nine-dash map claims of China, on beefing up the AFP muscle the country must acquire a fighter aircraft in order to tell the Chinese “to stay out of our territory,” noting that the non-claimant members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) seemed “indifferent” to the legal move adopted by the Philippines because they were more interested in placating the Chinese.

    Lohman’s statement was timed with the news that the Philippines will acquire ten 40-meter, multi-role response new patrol boats from Japan between February and August next year.

    Department of Foreign Affairs (DND) Secretary Albert del Rosario said the vessels, costing around around P431,982,000 each (US$10 million) each, are part of a “soft-loan” grant which Manila requested from Tokyo in December 2013.

    Additionally, the Japanese government has already ¥2.5-billion from its 2013 budget for training exercises of Filipino and Vietnamese personnel as part of Tokyo’s thrust to boost security cooperation with Southeast Asia countries.

    Japan has been helping the Philippines modernize its Coast Guard since 1990, giving the country BRP Corregidor, a search-and-rescue vessel 15 years ago.

    The AFP’s pervasive effort to strengthen its military muscle against external and internal aggressions has been getting positive endorsement from the Executive and Legislative branches of government over the years.

    Last year, the military got P3.41-B (US$83.130 million) worth of modern equipment this year under its modernization program.
    The package included the cost of acquisition of eight brand new combat-utility helicopters worth P2.657 billion (US$65 million), 20 upgraded helicopters, three (3) multi-purpose attack crafts for the Navy, 33 units of multi-purpose rocket launchers (MPRL), 81-millimeter mortar ammunition, and tubes for the Philippine Army (PA).

    On top of this, DND is looking at equipping three naval helicopters, which will be delivered in 2014, with anti-submarine gears to further enable them to detect intruders in Philippine waters.

    The acquisition of the three Augusta Westland AW109 naval helicopters was signed last Dec. 20, 2012, and the cost per rotary-wing aircraft was pegged at P1,337,176,584 (US$32.6 million).

    The choppers will also be equipped with dipping sonars and magnetic anomaly detection devices, which will detect and track submarine target and forward its location to the two new frigates the country.

    Last March 2012, the PAF formally accepted four (4) of the eight brand-new multi-purpose combat utility helicopters as part of the P2.8B acquisition contract between the AFP and Wytworinia Sprezetu Komunikacy Jnego’ ‘PZL-SWIDNIK’ SPOLJA AKCY JNA at the 410th Hangar, in Pampanga, a province north of Manila.

    The choppers were part of the first phase of Republic Act No. 7898, the AFP Modernization Act of 1995, which aims to acquire for internal security operations eight (8) combat utility helicopters, seven (7) attack helicopters, a C-130 aircraft, a long-range patrol aircraft, and 18 basic trainer aircraft.

    Congress wants Filipino soldiers armed with modern equipment (Includes interview)
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  13. Malaya
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    Malaya FULL MEMBER

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    Military officials from Germany, Canada in Manila for talks with DND, AFP
    By Tarra Quismundo

    [img]http://1-ps.googleusercontent.com/h/globalnation.inquirer.net/files/2013/02/300x188xGerman_Defense_Delegation-300x188.jpg.pagespeed.ic.x7QtaI89ZK.jpg[/img]
    Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario receives the delegation from the German Federal Ministry of Defense headed by Rear Admiral Thorsten Kahleron

    MANILA, Philippines—Military officials from Germany and Canada are in Manila this week to hold defense talks with officials of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, amid the country’s efforts to build its defense posture in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

    A delegation from the German Federal Ministry of Defense arrived on Wednesday for a three-day stay that would revisit the European nation’s ties defense ties with the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

    Arriving a week after the visit of German Guido Westerwelle, the German military delegation headed by Rear Admiral Thorsten Kahler paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Wednesday.

    The delegation, including three other officials from the German defense ministry’s International Security Policy and Bilateral Relations, would also meet with defense officials for bilateral discussions on training, disaster management and capacity-building, the DFA said.

    Rear Admiral William Truelove, commander of the Canadian military’s Maritime Forces in the Pacific, is meanwhile, set to meet with Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Emmanuel Bautista “to discuss issues of mutual interest” at the military headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

    Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina, a Halifax-class frigate, is also docked in Manila until Saturday on a goodwill visit to hold charity and sports events here.

    Back in Manila 16 years since its last visit, the Regina welcomed some 50 children from an underprivileged community in Tondo, Manila, for a special ship tour.

    The Regina is in the Philippines following its deployment in support of a Combined Task Force 150, a multilateral maritime collaboration among 27 nations on patrol and counter-terror operations in the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

    Military officials from Germany, Canada in Manila for talks with DND, AFP | Inquirer Global Nation
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  14. Malaya
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    Malaya FULL MEMBER

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    Polish Choppers Boost PAF
    By Elena L. Aben

    [IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/5ue2kj.jpg[/IMG]

    MANILA, Philippines --- The Polish firm PZL-Swidnik S.A. has completed the delivery of eight Sokol multipurpose helicopters acquired by the Philippine government to further boost the military’s air capability.

    Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesman Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said yesterday the last two of the eight W-3A Sokol (Falcon) helicopters arrived during the weekend at Clark Airbase in Pampanga. The aircraft were transported from Lublin Airport in Poland on board an AN-124 Ruslan cargo airplane.

    The latest and final delivery from PZK-Swidnik followed the first two batch of Sokol helicopters that arrived in February and November last year as part of a P2.85 billion contract signed in 2010 between the Philippine government and the Poland-based company in 2010.

    Okol said prior to the helicopters’ arrival, a team from the PAF conducted a pre-delivery inspection of the last two units of Sokol helicopters at the Świdnik facility in Poland on February 2-8 to ensure that all the parts and the equipment to be delivered were in proper order.

    A formal blessing and turnover ceremony will be scheduled once the newly arrived Sokols are declared operational.

    Meanwhile, Nicola Bianco, the PZL-Świdnik S.A. managing director said, “It gives me a great pleasure to complete the handover of the Sokol helicopters produced in Świdnik to the customer.”

    Bianco noted that Sokol helicopters, which have been in service with the PAF for several months, have proven to be highly effective and reliable, adding that they are capable of operating even in the most demanding conditions. The helicopters are being flown by pilots trained at the PZL-Świdnik factory.

    For his part, Mieczysław Majewski, President of PZL-Świdnik’s management board said: “I’m pleased that the excellent operational capabilities of the Sokols are greatly appreciated by the Philippine Air Force. I look forward to expanding our close partnership with the customer in the future providing technical support and ongoing operational support for the Sokols.”

    The PAF’s are equipped with the latest navigation and avionics systems including four-axis autopilot, EFIS system and night vision goggle compatible cockpit, allowing to operate day and night in all weather conditions.

    The six-ton class helicopter can transport up to 11 troops in the cabin or can lift up to 2,100 kg using its external cargo hook. Powered by two engines, each with the take-off power of 662 kW (888 shp), the Sokols can reach the maximum speed of 260 km/h (140 knots), and can fly 734 km (402 nm) or stay airborne for over four hours using its standard fuel tanks.

    Military and defense officials had earlier said that the outstanding capabilities of the Sokol helicopter and its ability to perform a wide range of roles will further enhance the PAF’s capabilities.

    It can be recalled that during the PAF’s 65th anniversary in July last year,mDefense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin assured the PAF of the delivery of brand new and reliable air assets within the next two years. this, as he said, the job of the air force cannot be done by determination and enthusiasm of its personnel alone.

    Gazmin also said then that the air assets to be acquired will replace the Air Force’s “old and unreliable” aircrafts.

    Polish Choppers Boost PAF | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online
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    Good thread Philippines!
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