Gov’t to pursue purchase of 12 fighter jets from S. Korea

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Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government will continue to pursue its acquisition of 12 fighter jets from South Korea even as President Benigno Aquino III emphasized the need to “balance” the country’s needs in warfare.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Tuesday that the papers for the purchase of the jets have been submitted to the Office of the President.

“We are waiting for the sales agreement. Once that is approved, negotiations will begin,” Gazmin told reporters in an interview.

Although Gazmin said they were originally eyeing to buy a squadron or 24 jets, the Philippines cannot afford all the jets with the P75 billion modernization funds.

Although Gazmin has assured that these fighter jets will not be directed towards any country, he said this will beef up the country’s defense against external threats.

The imminent acquisition of fighter jets will be the first of the war planes by the Air Force since it last retired its US fighter jets in 2005. The new fighter jets will come from Korean Aerospace Industries in South Korea.

In his fourth SONA speech last Monday, Aquino emphasized the need to “balance” the country’s needs in building a minimum credible defense posture.

“There are those who insist on upgrading our Armed Forces. I agree with this, but some of them act as if they want us to invest every centavo of our country into fighter jets, tanks, and other equipment for warfare. They may not know that one fighter jet costs 1.58 billion pesos—equivalent to 6,580 houses for our soldiers and our police force, or nearly 2,000 classrooms for our children. And what can one jet do? To be truly effective, we would need a squadron—and one squadron is composed of twenty-four fighter jets,” the President said.

“At 1.58 billion pesos per jet, we would have to devote 37.92 billion pesos of the nation’s coffers just to assemble one squadron. And what about practice missiles? And it is not as if jet fuel, a radar system, ground bases, and ground intercept controls are free. Building a minimum credible defense posture is not something we can take lightly. Do we follow others who prioritize the possession of a nuclear option at the expense of everything else? I do not think anyone would agree. We will balance our needs. We are committed to meeting the needs of our society, while remaining a good and upstanding member of the community of nations,” he added.

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  • philcitizen

    Put the PDAF budget to buy jets Mr. President.

  • Tommy

    Mr. President, thank you for telling us how much a modern jet fighter costs! Now tell us, Mr. President, how much does our sovereignty cost? Do you think our soldiers and policemen would be able to relax inside their homes, or would our students be able to focus on their lessons inside their classrooms, once China decides to park their aircraft carrier in the middle of Manila Bay?

  • 1Fz20

    we look like a fawn being feasted/chewed-up alive piece by piece by a pack of surrounding hyenas…is this the vision of government?

  • Ben

    President Obama, in his first punitive response to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, has halted the delivery of four F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force. Source NYTimes
    The Philippines can negotiate to buy those instead, the last time we were closed to procure a squadron of F16 was in the mid 1990`s, due to Asian financial crisis the F16s supposed to go to Pakistan were embargoed and offered to us. But as history already indicated we declined the opportunity. Now, another opportunity presents itself, the Philippine defense attaché can negotiate for those 4 planes halted for delivery to Egypt and we could probably get it, we can offer a deferred payment plan too.

  • manny3

    Mr President, instead of buying expensive fighter jets, how about building thousands of drones armed with missiles instead? Set up manufacturing plants all over the Philippines to manufacture at least 3000 super fast PT boats that can be armed with torpedoes, anti-ship missles, cannons etc., manufacture our own guns, bullets, etc., also manufacturing plants that can produce all the products we buy from China.
    Where do you get the money?
    Ask the OFWs all over the world for help. Ask for them to raise the money through fund raising events etc. Sell stocks of all the manufacturing plants to the OFWs and the Filipino people. The Manufacturing plants will produce jobs for the Filipinos, owned with pride by the workers and the people.
    Pass a law making corruption, mishandling of government funds akin to treason to be tried by the military courts, and if found guilty, punishable with death by firing squad.

  • valsore

    Why is South Korea able to manufacture fighter jets and we are not? We were much better economically than South Korea after the Korean war. where has our crony politics brought us?

    • desertvoice

      Who do you mean by “we”? If, as I assume, you mean the Philippines, then my advice is that you put Manny Pacquiao in charge of you areospace industry. He can be very persuasive.

  • Marco Gomes

    It takes ONE drone and all those fighter jets would not even get a chance leave the ground. Get real.

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