08 Juli 2015
SPYDER Short Range Air Defense System is a quick reaction, low level surface-to-air missile system designed to effectively counter attacks by aircraft, helicopters UAVs and precision guided munitions. (photo : Rafael)
THE PHILIPPINES’ Department of National Defense (DND) has denied a newspaper report which alleged that its top officials scrapped a government-to-government missile deal with Israel in place of buying individual gear for soldiers to receive kickbacks from the procurement project.
On Tuesday, the DND issued a statement explaining why the Shore Based Missile System (SBMS), a military asset initially included in the military’s to-buy list in the modernization program of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was dropped.
“The SBMS project is merely a proposal at this time, and as such, there is no ‘realignment’ but rather a reprioritization of the said project in favor of the urgent need of our PA (Philippine Army) troops for individual force protection equipment,” the DND said in a released statement on Tuesday afternoon.
“The reprioritization was a collective decision by Defense senior leaders, which was submitted to the President after going through the required processes in the Defense System of Management (DSOM), which took into consideration the dynamics of the country’s ever developing security environment,” the DND further said.
The department was prompted to issue the statement after reports said that the deal was dropped so that top defense officials could earn from commissions.
The news articles cited unnamed sources saying that there were no commissions to be made from the missile deal since it was an agreement between two governments.
The P6.5-billion funding for the missile system supposed to be for the military will now be used to buy helmets, body armor, night-vision goggles and other equipment used by Philippine Army soldiers