VARIOUS quarters said that it’s certainly high time for the Philippines, an impoverished but
natural resources-rich southeast Asia nation of English-speaking and election-crazy people, to
modernize its armed forces.
No less than Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, a retired police general and a member of
Class 1973 of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), acknowledged that the country’s armed forces
need to be upgraded.
Lorenzana said the turnover of six United States-made ScanEagle surveillance drones to the
Philippine Air Force (PAF) “is one way to modernize the military to deter those who want to wage
war against our country.”
He made the statement during the turnover ceremony, held at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay
City, the PAF headquarters, which was attended by US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim and PAF chief Lt. Gen.
Galileo Gerard Kintanar.
Reports said that the PAF would operate the six surveillance drones from its base in
Palawan, Antonio Bautista Air Base.
Expected to enhance the military’s intelligence and surveillance capabilities, the drones
were turned over to the PAF under the Foreign Military Financing component of the Mutual Defense
Treaty between the Philippines and the US.
The ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) will provide intelligence surveillance and
reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the military’s 300 Air Intelligence and Security Wing (AISW).
The 300 AISW is the leading unit for air ISR operations of the Armed Forces of the
It is hoped that the US assistance to the AFP, described by many as timely, would increase
the military’s maritime domain awareness, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and counter-
At this point, the Philippines and the Filipino people really need the help of all our
friends in the international community if we are to succeed in modernizing our armed forces.