"We will no back down": Defense Secretary assures Cong. Rufus Rodriguez on firm stand against Chinese intrusion in West PH Sea Featured

Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Cong. Rufus Rodriguez commended DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., during the budget hearing of the Committee on Appropriations for the FY 2024 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND), for his resolute responses to inquiries on the national defense plans against the intrusion of China in the West Philippine Sea.

Cong. Rufus was assured by Secretary Teodoro that DND will “not back down and will continue to build alliances with likeminded nations to enforce international law and contain China’s plans for expansion.”

Moreover, the defense secretary stated the need to upgrade the capabilities of the agencies under the department to prevent or deter aggressions from China.

The next point raised by Cong. Rufus is the recovery of the $1.9 billion spent in advance payment for the procurement of 17 military choppers from Russia. According to Sec. Teodoro, the matter has been referred to the Office of the Solicitor General for legal routes that will lead to positive outcomes.

Finally, Cong. Rufus secured the commitment of DND Secretary Teodoro to look into allocating P240 million for the protection and rehabilitation of coastal areas in the 2nd District of CdeO affected by shear lines.

Cong. Rufus then moved to increase the proposed budget of the Department of National Defense, to include their priority projects such as acquisitions of equipment, the completion of Horizon 1 and 2 phases of the AFP Modernization Program, and budget for humanitarian assistance and disaster response due to the threat of el niño and water shortage in the country.


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