By Francis T. Wakefield
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said that the turnover of two NC212i light lift fixed-wing aircraft from Indonesia to the Philippine Air Force signifies the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to a level where it can more effectively and fully perform its constitutional mandate to uphold the sovereignty and preserve the patrimony of the country.
Lorenzana said since Republic Act 7879 or the AFP Modernization Act was passed in 1995, the accomplishment of the law’s mandate has encountered several setbacks, especially during the Asian economic crisis when modernization efforts in the military were stalled momentarily due to financial constraints.
“But I am happy to note that we have surpassed all those challenges and finally made it to this day,” Lorenzana said at the formal acceptance, blessing, and turnover of the aircraft at Haribon Hangar, Air Force City, Clark Airbase, Pampanga.
“These aircraft in front of us will offer our military, the Air Force in particular, a long list of contributions in the areas of internal security operations, territorial defense, and national development,” Lorenzana added.
Lorenzana said these will develop the military’s capacity in securing national sovereignty and territory, in fulfilling its mandate of protecting the Filipino people from both man-made and natural threats and calamities, and enhancing its capability to fulfill the country’s international commitments, among others.