Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay on Monday said the country’s military is now “60-percent at par” with neighboring countries in the Southeast Asian region in terms of its defense capabilities.
“Right now, maybe, masasabi natin we are already at 60-percent at par with our neighboring countries. But once yung mga nasa modernization pipeline ay ma-deliver na, medyo paparehas na tayo (Right now, maybe we say that we are already at 60-percent at par with our neighboring countries but once the deliverables in the modernization pipeline arrive, we can say that we are at par with them),” he said in a Laging Handa briefing.
Due to the ongoing AFP modernization program, Gapay said the AFP is now starting to get the respect of its counterparts in terms of its defense capabilities.
“Sabi nga niya (Duterte), nais nyang makita ang isang malakas at tunay na maaasahan na armed forces once he steps down in 2022, at yun ang kanyang ginagawa (Like what he said, he wants a strong and dependable Armed Forces once he steps down in 2022),” Gapay said.
He added that this can be seen in the improvements being done to the Philippine Navy (PN), which is now equipped with missile frigates and a corvette.
Gapay said there is a possibility that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be having multi-role fighters similar to the F-16 “Falcon/Viper” in its inventory before Duterte concludes his term in 2022. SOVEREIGNPH