National security: PNP, AFP get upgrades
Aquino Promises: A mid-term assessment (8 of 10) - SONA 2013
One of the Aquino promises on national security is strengthening the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to deal with internal and external threats.
Aquino likewise promised the modernization of the Philippine National Police (PNP), review of the National Defense Act of 1935, implementation of the Defense Reform Program, the improvement of ratio of security forces to population, and adequate provisions, equipment, and training for
The fulfillment of these promises is still ongoing, particularly the modernization of police and the military services.
On July 2, 2013, Aquino led the distribution of over 22,000 Glock 17-generation 4, 9-mm pistols to police officers.
This is the biggest batch of firearms distributed so far of the 59,904 pistols acquired by the Philippine National Police last year.
"Kaakibat ng mga bagong baril isinusulong na rin ang PNP operational transformation plan para sa 2013-2016. Bahagi nito ang pagdaragdag ng 15,000 non-uniformed personnel upang pumalit sa mga pulis sa mga gawaing administritibo," Aquino said in his speech during the distribution
In December 2012, Aquino signed the AFP Modernization Act that renewed for another 15 years the modernization of the armed forces to the tune of a total of P75 billion for the first 5 years.
The law aims to ensure that military hardware, equipment and weapons of the Armed Forces are continuously upgraded.
The various modern equipment the Army, Navy, and Air Force are acquiring include refurbished Hamilton-class cutters, FA-50 multi-role fighter jets from South Korea, new radar systems, close air-support aircraft, flight simulator machines, Bell 412 combat utility helicopters, armored vehicles, assault rifles, long-range patrol aircraft, anti-aircraft guided missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, 155mm self-propelled artillery guns, service support vessels, an anti-submarine helicopter, and AW109 naval helicopters.
Aquino also promised a review of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and the United States, particularly on issues involving crimes committed by American servicemen in the Philippines.
The Palace later said an ad hoc review panel went over the VFA, but added that there were no discussions on abrogating the accord.