Marawi siege prompts need to modernize AFP: Lorenzana
Posted: 2017-Nov-12 15.01.02 UTC+0800
MANILA — Marawi City combat operations saw the need to invest more in the modernization of the military.
"The Marawi Siege indeed serves as a reminder that guarding our nation from the perils of terrorism is a shared responsibility and that all of us must be vigilant. It also reminds us of the importance of our mandate, and a wake-up call that we must invest more on improving our capabilities and modernizing our equipment," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
Fighting in Marawi City started last May 23 when government forces tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and his cohorts.
It was declared over on Oct. 23 after Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilor Hapilon and Maute group co-founder Omar Maute were killed in one of the last encounters of the five-month military operations.
An estimated 923 terrorists were killed while 165 troopers and police officers were killed in the campaign.
Fighting proved difficult as Filipino soldiers are not equipped and lack training for urban warfare scenarios.
"In relation to this, our department ensured the completion of Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Project to achieve a stronger and more credible national defense system," he said.
"From July 1, 2016 to October 20, 2017, 20 projects were delivered which are expected to improve the capability of the AFP in terms of internal security, territorial defense, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response," Lorenzana added.
Delivered were the South Korean-made FA-50PH, of which 12 were ordered from Korea Aerospace Industries; the second strategic sealift vessel, the BRP Davao Del Sur, which was ordered from PT PAL Persero, an Indonesia shipbuilder; and three additional multi-purpose assault craft from local shipbuilder Propmech. (PNA)