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Duterte’s AFP chief says modernization to focus on internal security needs


Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff-designate Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya is looking to follow through on the modernization of the country's air assets, this time with focus on the country's internal security efforts.

"[Duterte] would like to start sa internal ano, so gusto niya munang palakasin ang.... ginagamit natin sa internal security operations. Kaya ang priority nya yung mga modern helicopters at mga fastcraft," Visaya said.

"Yung mga helicopters kasi ang kwan nya, ang gusto nya may mga night fighting capabilities," he added.

Visaya said that the fastcraft would be prioritized to address the kidnappings by bandit group Abu Sayyaf.

"Nung nakuha sa Samal Island nung gabi hindi natin nahabol dahil... we dont have  enough helicopter with night flight capability so parang...nakita na may pagkukulang tayo sa mga equipment," Visaya said.

The Abu Sayyaf recently beheaded two Canadian hostages, Robert Hall and John Ridsdel.

Ridsdel, Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor were abducted from a high-end resort on Samal Island in Davao del Norte on September 2015. They were later brought to Sulu.

The incoming AFP chief said that the modernization would continue to include the external properties of the AFP.

"Ito muna bago mag-external, so it will be continued actually. It will be continued, that is part ng modernization natin," Visaya said. —Jessica Bartolome/NB, GMA News

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