Press Release
August 31, 2015


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Monday urged the Philippine Army to explain why, based on a Commission on Audit (COA) report, bulk of the training ammunitions and equipment it was programmed to procure in 2014 had not been delivered.

Santiago, chair of the Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement, vowed to file a resolution calling for a Senate investigation on the non-delivery of the military supplies, a failure which she said might put Filipino soldiers at risk.

"How can we expect our troops to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity when they have no ammunitions or equipment for training? Funds have been disbursed, why were supplies not delivered?" the senator said.

She cited a recently released COA report, which showed that despite the P569.6 million the Army released to the Government Arsenal for ammunitions, only P42.4 million worth of ammunitions were delivered in 2014.

The same COA report showed that of the P231.9 million worth of combat clothing and equipment the Army requested through the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management from 2004 to 2011 P786,000 remained undelivered in 2014.

"The Philippines is threatened by a neighbor encroaching on its territory. We cannot afford to postpone--not even for a day--the delivery of much-needed ammunitions and equipment," Santiago said.

The senator has been urging the military to boost its defenses against external threats, as she criticized the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the U.S.

In July, Santiago, as chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations, filed a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the EDCA is invalid and ineffective unless concurred in by the Senate. The resolution was supported by 12 other senators.

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