On Tuesday, Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate criticized the Duterte administration for allegedly “sleeping” on the proposed Bayanihan 3.
The progressive solon claimed that the government was spending $2.43 billion or P118 billion on buying weapons from the United States.
“It seems that instead of saving lives and alleviating the plight of our people gravely hit by this crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the skewed priority of the Duterte administration is to feed or heal our people with more weapons of death,” Zarate said.
“It continues to turn a deaf ear on the funding needs for the Bayanihan 3,” he added.
Citing information from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), Zarate claimed that the Duterte administration was set to buy the following:
1. ten (10) F-16C Block 70/72 aircraft;
2. two (2) F-16D Block 70/72 aircraft;
3. fifteen (15) F100-PW-229EEP engines or F110-GE-129D engines;
4. fifteen (15) Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDG);
5. fifteen (15) AN/APG-83 Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Scalable Agile Beam Radars (SABR);
6. fifteen (15) Modular Mission Computers 7000AH;
7. fifteen (15) LN-260 Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) with SAASM and PPS;
8. twenty-four (24) Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) AIM-120C-7/C-8 or equivalent;
Zarate accuses Duterte of ‘sleeping’ on Bayanihan 3
9. one (1) AIM-120 Guidance Section; forty-eight (48) LAU-129 missile launchers;
10. three (3) KMU-572 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM) tail kits;
11. six (6) Mk-82 500lb bombs; six (6) Mk-82 500lb Inert training bombs;
12. six (6) FMU-152 or FMU-139 fuzes;
13. six (6) Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATP) or Litening ATP;
14. fifteen (15) Multifunctional Information Display System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS) aircraft terminals;
15. fifteen (15) M61A1 Vulcan Anti-Aircraft 20mm guns, and;
16. assorted weapon instruments and systems, and ammunition.
Zarate said that instead of buying arms, the government should just allot the budget in funding the Bayanihan 3 to help Filipinos survive the pandemic.
“This amount is already around 30% of the ayuda packages of Bayanihan 3 and would even go a long way in boosting our economy,” he said.
“With the P118 billion amount alone, it can fund more than half of the P216 billion intended for the provision of P2,000 cash aid per Filipino, regardless of social status. The P1,000 first tranche of this cash aid can already be given to all Filipinos.”