Press Release
August 29, 2008

Villar calls for review of AFP modernization implementation

Senate President Manny Villar called for a review of the implementation of the Armed Forces Modernization Program as he extended assistance to families of soldiers who perished in the Mindanao conflict.

Villar cited the need for the said review in Iligan City as he gave financial help of P10,000 each to the families of at least 11 slain soldiers.

The assistance from Villar totaling P110,000 was received by Philippine Army Maj. Gen. Nehemias Pajarito, commanding general of the first infantry (Tabak) division.

The Senate President said he wants to know the current status of the modernization program and the obstacles to its implementation so that the Senate can take appropriate action in terms of appropriating the necessary funds.

Villar also urged the government to advance the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of places affected by the strife in the South, stressing that local governments needed resources to aid refugees and rebuild structures destroyed by rebel pillaging.

The Senate President said the towns need money "to care for the wounded, aid the displaced, bury the dead, rebuild homes, heal psychological wounds, construct damaged public infrastructure and other things needed to restore normalcy."

At the same time, the Nacionalista Party president also gave donations to affected residents in Iligan, Marawi, Kulambugan, Kauswagan, and Ozamiz consisting of 20,000 tetra packs of chocolate drinks, noodles, blankets. Villar also gave eight comfort rooms for the use of evacuees.

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