Press Release
July 8, 2021

Bong Go expresses importance of AFP modernization efforts following Sulu plane crash; says PRRD admin to extend aid to victims and families

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go highlighted the importance of efforts to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines following the C-130 plane crash in Patikul, Sulu that killed at least 52 military personnel and civilians and injured several others.

Go, who is vice chair of the Senate Committee on Defense, said he supports AFP modernization efforts so that military troops are appropriately equipped to protect their safety, as they are the frontline in protecting the welfare and wellbeing of Filipinos particularly in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.

"Kami po ay nalulungkot ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte dahil ito ang mga sundalong pumupunta sa digmaan, sila pa po ang nabiktima ng crash. 'Di naman natin masabi kung kelan tayo papanaw sa mundong ito pero nakakalungkot po. Nakikiramay kami sa pamilya ng mga yumaong sundalo, mga sibilyan po sa Jolo," said Go during his visit to fire victims in Cainta, Rizal on Tuesday, July 6.

"Ako naman bilang vice chair sa Committee on Defense sa Senado, suportado ko po ang modernization ng AFP; suportado ko po ang karagdagang kagamitan para sa ating AFP. And, in fact, pag-upo ni Pangulong Duterte, isa sa inuna namin ni Pangulong Duterte idoble ang sahod nila noong 2018," Go said.

Earlier, Duterte and Go visited government troops who were injured by the incident at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command Gymnasium in Zamboanga City on July 5.

The Office of the President also provided financial assistance and other items to the families of soldiers who died or were injured during the incident. On the other hand, Go's office distributed additional financial aid to the families and other items.

"Dapat po full support ang ating mga sundalo, not only sa kanilang personal na sweldo but mga armas po. Pinapapunta natin sila sa digmaan, ang mga eroplano, mga helicopter po dapat unang-una," said Go.

The Senator also urged the AFP to always safeguard the safety of their personnel and that their aircrafts are in good working order.

Go also stated that if a Senate investigation is conducted, he is willing to participate in it in order to learn more about what happened during the incident and to make sure that it will not happen again.

"I can't speak on behalf of the Senate as a whole kung magkakaroon ba (ng imbestigasyon) pero if there will be an investigation, I'm willing to participate para malaman ko ang katotohanan," said Go.

"I'm sure isa po ang ating hangarin dito na 'di na maulit ang mga ganitong pangyayari," he ended.

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