Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri took to the Senate floor to raise the issue around the recent series of accidents involving dated military aircraft, resulting in numerous deaths and casualties.
His speech comes at the heels of a recent helicopter crash in Impasug-ong, Bukidnon.
A Philippine Air Force Huey helicopter crashed on a field, killing all seven passengers and crew. Smoke was reportedly seen coming from its engine before the accident.
Zubiri further enumerated similar incidents from the past year, identifying accidents involving another Huey last November, an Air Force Sikorsky air ambulance last September, and yet another Huey last July. Collectively, these accidents resulted in nine deaths, plus more injured.
“What happened in Bukidnon recently and all the other military aircraft were senseless deaths.”
“What happened in Bukidnon recently, and all the other military aircraft crashes which resulted in deaths of our military and civilian personnel, were senseless deaths,” the veteran legislator said.
“Avoidable accidents, if only we were serious about modernizing our military,” the seasoned lawmaker stressed.
The senator further pointed out that the Huey helicopter is old, and no longer fit to serve the military.
“Huey helicopters are in the range of 40 to 50-year-old air assets,” he noted.” We need to modernize our military hardware and equipment, including our aircrafts.”
“The Senate is prepared to listen to our military for what they need.”
“The Senate is prepared to listen to our military for what they need–what comfortable level of budget they need for 2022 and in the succeeding years to sustain their efforts in modernizing our military,” Zubiri said.
“Modernizing our military is giving our soldiers, who are among the best and bravest in the world, a fighting chance in the battlefield. It is the least we can do to our men and women in uniform who have sworn to protect the state and lay down their lives for it if necessary, and as proven in their many heroic feats,” he concluded.