By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) stressed on Tuesday night the importance of checks and balances in its governance to enhance the country’s territorial security and improve the overall national development.
Lieutenant General Rozzano Briguez, PAF commanding general, highlighted the role of media in governance and oversight of the security sector during the PAF Media Night 2019 held at PAF Aerospace Museum in Pasay City.
According to Briguez, the roles of the military and media “are not as far as it seems” since both “are working for the security of the society only from different platforms and perspectives.”
“As we in the military provide physical security by protecting our territorial integrity and playing an active role in internal security operations, the media protect it by being watchdogs who protect the society by creating transparency, improving good governance and creating participatory social responsibility among the citizens,” he noted.
Furthermore, Briguez said that the media’s role as watchdogs is an “element of national objective” which, if disrupted due to weak interactions, “is capable of negating the required atmosphere for national survival and development.”
Meanwhile, Briguez revealed that an array of air assets that are scheduled to arrive as early as the second quarter next year until 2021 will boost the capabilities of the Philippine Air Force.
This includes, among others, at least 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland and six A-29 Super Tucano aircrafts which are expected to arrive in batches until 2021.
He begged off to divulge further details as he said more information will be revealed next month when the PAF celebrates its 72nd anniversary.
“Right now, the general public knows that we are more than capable of performing a wide range of missions that concern territorial defense stability, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, the performance of internal defense and security engagement and peace support operations,” he said.
The decision to acquire the said air assets was made after President Duterte scrapped a deal to buy helicopters from Canada last year.
This, after the Canadian government, expressed concern that the helicopters could be used for counter-insurgency operations, a comment that apparently irked the President.