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AFP tagged world's 6th 'worst' military but Palace touts upgrades

Louis Bacani - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Thursday touted the government's modernization program for the Armed Forces of the Philippines after it was tagged as the sixth worst military in the world.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a press briefing that the administration has completed 56 projects under the AFP modernization program.

"Sa simula't sapul ay kinilala ng Aquino administration ang kahalagahan ng pagpapahusay sa mga kagamitan ng ating Sandatahang Lakas," Coloma said in a press briefing.

Coloma said President Aquino also approved recently the acquisition of several big-ticket items for the military including two navy frigates worth P18 billion, two long-range patrol aircraft worth P5.9 billion, two naval helicopters worth P5.4 billion and six close air support aircraft worth P4.97 billion.

"Makikita natin 'yung kongkretong manipestasyon ng ibayong pagsisikap na gawing moderno ang ating Sandatahang Lakas at ito ay pinapatunayan sa pamamagitan ng pagkuha ng mga pinakamodernong kagamitan na gagamitin ng ating Army, Navy at Air Force," Coloma said.

Coloma defended the modernization efforts for the AFP after it was tagged as the world's sixth worst military by the website wearethemighty.com, which publishes military-themed stories and other content.

The website cited Aquino's pronouncement to upgrade the AFP but lamented the supposed lack of government action to modernize its military.

"Despite the Chinese military buildup in the region, with aggressive moves by the Chinese to claim areas and build islands close to the Philippines, the Philippines' Naval and Air Forces are still nearly 60 years old and its ships are old U.S. Coast Guard cutters," the website said.

The 10 countries with the worst militaries, according to the website, are Costa Rica, Iraq, North Korea, Eritrea, Nigeria, Philippines, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

AIR FORCE

AQUINO

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

COAST GUARD

COLOMA

COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY HERMINIO COLOMA JR.

COSTA RICA

DESPITE THE CHINESE

NAVAL AND AIR FORCES

NORTH KOREA

SANDATAHANG LAKAS

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