Real Air Force At Last

(Editor's note: Our Air Force is now gaining more force in lieu of air. The Jordanian journalist can mislead the whole world why banditry prevails in Mindanao, as noted by the author.)

MANILA, Philippines --- In the late 1950s up to about the mid-1960s, jet planes of PAF took to the skies in yearly air shows in summer. The "Blue Diamonds" squadron thrilled thousands at Villamor Air Base, who marveled at the skill of Filipino jet pilots. The base itself is named after Captain Jesus Villamor, the first Filipino air hero who fought Japan's air might in December, 1941. General Douglas MacArthur conferred on Villamor the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest medal.

Deterioration

PAF started to deteriorate in the 1970s during the insurgency in Mindanao. In the last coup against the Cory government in 1989, it took a US Phantom jet from Clark to let the coup plotters and fighters know whose side the US was carefully protecting. The coup melted and was quietly defeated by the AFP.

Fit for disposal

This week, COA said in its 2010 report about PAF: "The Air Force virtually has a non-existent air deterrent capability due to its aging air assets." As of 2010, most aircraft/planes were either inactive or fit for disposal.

Protecting our claim

We badly need jet fighters to patrol our long coastline. Jet fighters may visit the disputed shoal where China's fighter plane was reportedly seen over the area this month. This is no threat to start a dog fight, but would show our active interest to protect what is concededly ours for a long period before 2012.

If we don't persist in protecting our claim, the other party may assume that the shoal is getting less attention for ownership to prescribe.

More jet fighters/helicopters

Next year, PAF will buy 12 fighter jets costing R1.2 B each and six fixed-wing aircraft from suppliers in South Korea, Italy, UK, and Russia. The six aircraft will boost the government's counter-insurgency campaign in Mindanao. All told, before 2016, PAF expects to add: Six surface attack aircraft and fighter trainers, long-range patrol plane, a special mission aircraft, and one air-defense radar.

Four brand-new combat utility helicopters are expected to arrive in November. The first four Sokol helicopters were delivered last February. The eight helicopters cost R2.8 B, including support equipment, spare parts, and training.

Journalist/adventurer

War-front correspondents are not a rare breed. Some of them join troops moving in all directions. But the Jordanian journalist and two Filipino cameramen are not observers in a raging war, but journeyed to Sulu in search of adventure. The cameramen's disappearance brought extreme anxiety to their families when told they disappeared in the mountains of Sulu.

Chilling effect on tourism

If they can shoot pictures of bearded Abu Sayaff guerrillas in uniform and carrying modern automatic weapons, they can easily sell the photos to foreign TV and newspapers. The chilling effect on our tourism trade is definitely negative, when Muslim guerrillas freely move around. Foreigners, like Australians, Europeans, etc., don't distinguish the difference between Sulu and Palawan's northern islands as favorites of tourists.

Freedom fighters

Another test is this: The Jordanian, to sell his report with pictures, will tell the whole world that the Abus are not bandits nor are they engaged in kidnapping with ransom. He will tell his readers that the Abus are freedom fighers but were ignored in their struggle for recognition.

Worse, the Jordanian is free to tell the whole world that the Manila government is driving the Abus crazy to the rain forest as innocent militants asking for land reform. But the government recognized their fellow Muslims in the MILF as peaceful negotiators seeking power-sharing and a partition of the national territory.

Distortions

Distortions of facts and aspirations will prove more attractive than the whole truth, like the country is not a good state for not helping the poor more than it helped the rich. This can mislead Muslim states in the Middle East where Filipino OFWs, by the thousands, still defy the government's travel ban for employment.

If the Jordanian journalist is a subject of deportation, our country will suffer more from the backlash of sensationalism that freedom of expression has been suppressed by the Manila government. (Comments are welcome at roming@pefianco.com).

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options