AFP bought flying coffins worth 2.5B, crashed C-130, among junk from U.S. military

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas said this military aircraft mishap warrants the termination of the $2.43 billion or P118-B Foreign Military Sale deal between the U.S. and the Philippines. U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin Corporation, the makers of C-130 aircraft, will be the principal contractor for the potential sale.

The fated Lockheed C-130 Hercules was one of two used U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft recently delivered to the Philippines by the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency in February this year. The used aircraft have been flying since 1988. The acquisition of the two refurbished aircraft reportedly cost P2.5-billion and was financed by the PH and US governments. A brand new C-130 reportedly cost around P37-billion.

Last June 23, a newly-acquired S-701 Blackhawk utility helicopter crashed a few miles off Col. Rabina Airbase in Capas, Tarlac, killing all six PH air force personnel on board. All Blackhawks and C-130s were subsequently grounded after the incidents.

This latest air mishap must shed light on the Philippine Air Force’s safety record and the government’s acquisition of military infrastructure. The AFP and PAF fleet has long been called ‘flying coffins’ and ‘widowmakers’ because of their aircraft disaster record. Ang mga C-130 na ito ay basura na ng U.S. military pero binibili pa rin ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas at AFP, according to KMP. Bilyon-bilyon ang ginagastos ng gobyerno para sa mga armas at gamit sa gera samantalang ayuda at kabuhayan ang kailangan ng mamamayan.  

The AFP also received P183 million worth of weapons and equipment from the Joint US Military Assistance Group-Philippines (JUSMAG).

The Philippines is by far the biggest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the region. Since 2015, U.S. has delivered more than P37-billion worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the country. However, handed-down military aircraft and hardware are often junk and overused equipment discarded by the U.S. military, according to KMP. ###

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