Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Duterte says purchase of FA-50 jets just a waste of money

DAVAO CITY, Philippines - The Aquino administration’s purchase of 12 FA-50 lead in fighter trainer jets is just a waste of money as the air assets are only being used now for ceremonies, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said.
Duterte said the jets – the biggest items in the military’s modernization shopping list – cannot be used to fight insurgency.
He added that the two FA-50s that were delivered to the Air Force are not enough to challenge China, which has occupied Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, a fishing area off Zambales that is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
“We only have what two FA-50s? Why did you buy that?” Duterte said in a business forum in Davao City last Tuesday. 
“To the Air Force, do not misconstrue me. I’m a Filipino. I’m a citizen of this country and I have every right to say what I want to say. Sayang ang pera dun (Money was wasted there). You cannot use them for anti-insurgency, which is the problem at the moment. You can only use these for ceremonial fly-by,” he added.
The Aquino administration has bought 12 FA-50 jets from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries for P18.9 billion to enhance the country’s territorial defense capabilities. Two of the jets were delivered in November while the ten others will be arrive in the country next year.
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