Press Release
June 24, 2013


Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized that government should ensure the successful implementation of the country's revised armed forces modernization program, amid ongoing territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

Angara was one of those who shepherded the original Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Act of 1995 (RA 7898) during the 9th Congress.

The outgoing lawmaker explained that, at the time, Congress' strategic vision was for the military to protect the country's territory and natural resources.

"The emphasis [of the original modernization act] was boosting the technology, mobility and communications of the armed forces," said the Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, adding that this continues with the Revised AFP Modernization Act (RA 10349) signed last December 2012.

"We hope to do it right this time, especially since we are on the verge of losing territory and our natural resources for lack of capability to protect them," continued the former UP President.

Angara made the statement in his closing remarks at a ceremony awarding the 2013 University of the Philippines President Edgardo J. Angara (UP PEJA) Fellowship to Professor Herman Joseph Kraft, Executive Director of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS). Kraft was awarded the fellowship to conduct a policy study on the modernization program of the AFP.

The UP PEJA Fellowship was established in 2008 by the UP Board of Regents during the UP Centennial.

The initiative aims to recognize high-level research conducted by UP intellectuals and spur academic discussion on the country's development goals and policies.

The first batch of UP PEJA Fellows included Dr. Raul Fabella of the UP School of Economics (UPSE); Dr. Raul Pangalanan of the UP College of Law; and Dr. Ramon Pedro Paterno of the Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies of UP Manila.

The areas covered are science and technology; fiscal, budget and financial studies; agriculture and rural development; environment and climate change; and with the awarding to Kraft, national security.

"This topic rings true, especially today. I am happy that there is one who will look at the validity and efficacy of our second round of [Armed Forces] modernization," Angara added.

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