FB page points out newly delivered 155-mm. howitzers were purchased by Aquino admin, not Duterteadvertisement
Philippines Defense Forces Forum took to Facebook to ‘burst the bubble’ of some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporters who thought that the newly delivered 12 1550mm. howitzers were purchased by the current administration. The page said that the artillery pieces were bought by the previous Aquino administration.
“Sorry to burst your bubble Duterte fanatics, this is still a procurement of the previous Administration, not just these howitzers but all the “makabagong armas” that arrived during Duterte’s first year are PNoy era procurement,” the FB page wrote.
Along with the caption were two photos showing a certain Facebook user expressing how proud he is that the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now receiving new weapons and a screenshot of a GMA News Online report about the arrival of the howitzers.
We later found out that the Philippines Defense Forces actually noticed the misplaced merits for the Duterte administration in the comments section of the GMA News Online report about the delivery of the howitzers by the Israeli defense firm. That comment was not alone, though, in giving the wrong credit to the current administration.
However, there were also others who gave credit to the previous administration for pursuing the military modernization program.
Someone who admitted to being a Duterte supporter also corrected the other supporters, saying that the deliveries that the Philippines is seeing now were from the deals completed during the Aquino administration.
One netizen provided a link to an ABS-CBN report about how the Department of Defense announced in December 2013 the public bidding for the purchase of howitzers and ammunitions amounting to P700 million. Assistant Defense Secretary and DND-Bids and Awards Committee chairman Efren Fernandez the government then was set to acquire 12 units of 155mm Towed Howitzer for P438.6 million.
In the July 17, 2017 report from GMA News Online, it was noted how the Israeli firm has completed the delivery of all 12 howitzers with the delivery of nine more of these artillery pieces at the Port of Manila on July 14. The first three howitzers were delivered on June 8 and were turned over to the Philippine Marine Corps.
Out of the nine newly delivered howitzers, three are reportedly going to be delivered to the Marines and the other six to the Philippine Army.
We also found this Philippine Star report on March 23, 2016, wherein the Army thanked Aquino for the support. One of the floats used by the Army to showcase their relief and rescue operations during disasters bore this message: “Mahal na Pangulo, marami pong salamat sa suporta at malasakit.”
Then Army chief Gen. Eduardo Año enumerated the armored assets and other war-fighting equipment.
“We already have received 56,843 new R4 assault rifles to replace the Vietnam-era rifles we are currently using, 124 units of armored vehicles to include six armored vehicles with remote-controlled weapon systems, 60 field ambulance units and more than 300 light utility vehicles,” Año said.
He also said communicating during field operations became easier with the purchase of over 2,000 radios and other communication equipment.
In 2013, the Army was then reported to be expecting the delivery of more infantry fighting vehicles, fire support vehicles, light utility vehicles, 60 mm mortars, rocket launchers, 40 mm grenade launchers, 50-watt armored vehicle configuration radios, and 155 mm howitzers.
What the Philippines Defense Forces Forum said about the howitzers being purchased during the Aquino admin is indeed true. It’s just that their delivery was recently completed, beyond Aquino’s term.