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View Full Version : Honesty is the best policy



Jeff
01-10-2008, 07:47 AM
The Manila Standard Today
Jan. 10, 2008

Gloria wants transparency in AFP deals
By Roy Pelovello and Florante S. Solmerin

PRESIDENT Arroyo has ordered the Armed Forces to ensure transparency in the use of a P16.2-billion budget for the military’s capability upgrading program which covers the purchase of night attack helicopters.

Mrs. Arroyo issued the directives to Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. during the AFP command conference at Camp Aguinaldo last Monday.

President Arroyo pointed out that because the allocations for the projects under the upgrade program were “very big,” the purchases should be made with utmost transparency.

“We [want] to wipe out graft and corruption,” the President said. “We really have to clear up the bidding process.”

The P16.2-billion AFP capability upgrading program is divided into two stages: Phase l, with an allocation of P11.2 billion was implemented last year, while Phase 2, with a funding of P5 billion, will be implemented this year.

Specifically, the President instructed Teodoro to immediately submit a report on the AFP’s P5-billion project for the purchase of night attack capable helicopters.

The President has assured the AFP-DND that the government is committed to ensuring a “strong and modern military.”

“We have put the money where our rhetoric is and I am glad that the AFP capability upgrade program is being implemented,” the President said.

Esperon said the campaign against communist insurgency and the Abu Sayyaf is bolstered by the implementation of the AFP’s capability upgrade program.

“Through the capability upgrade program we will push hard to defeat the enemy. This further enhanced our mobility, firepower and communication,” he said.

Meanwhile, Esperon expressed confidence that the military will be able to weaken the communist rebels even more this year. Some 4,200 members of the New People’s Army will be eliminated in the next few months, reducing the number of communist guerrillas to only 1,500 at the end of the year.

“We have to sustain the momentum based [on] the achievements that we gained last year. In fact, we have to accelerate the momentum to defeat the enemy. We’re eyeing to reduce the number of the CPP [Communist Party of the Philippines] and the NPA by 1,500 at the end of 2008,” Esperon told reporters during a brief recess in the Armed Forces command conference.

Esperon will reach the military’s mandatory retirement age of 57 on Feb. 9, but talks are rife about his possible extension of four to six months.

At the command conference, Esperon said that aside from reducing the number of NPA combatants, the AFP unified command will also intensify its campaign to eliminate some more 17 guerrilla fronts by the end of the first quarter.

“There are at least 17 guerrilla fronts which are in advanced state of degradation. By the end of the first quarter only 70 guerrilla fronts will be left. We intend to eliminate the remaining fronts in the succeeding months so that by the start of 2010 only 15 will be left,” the military chief said.

“But let me caution you, the CPP-NPA is good in creating pseudo-guerrilla fronts na wala namang tauhan,” he added.

Esperon also said the AFP was able to reduce the NPA rebels to 5,700 along with the elimination of some 13 guerrilla fronts from its peak of 100 in 2007.

“In 2007 alone, we were able to eliminate some 1,400 rebels from the NPA’s total number of 7,160,” he said.

He said there are only 383 Abu Sayyaf left running and hiding either in Jolo and Basilan after 69 of their comrades were killed in 2007.

“We’re determined to reduce their number to 50 percent by the end of 2008,” Esperon said.

On the MILF, Esperon said the AFP will give primacy to the peace process.

“We were able to [establish] cooperation with them through the implementation of the ceasefire agreement that reduces armed hostilities with the MILF. We were able to create an environment wherein both parties have the willingness to implement development programs especially in conflict-affected areas. We’re expecting more positive developments to come out from the peace process,” he said.

Remarks:

This is mandatory everytime the Gov't will implement projects, transparency per se not only in AFP but to all branches. dapat hindi ningas kugon... maganda lang sa umpisa but later mawawala parang bula.:rolleyes: