The Armed forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Hernando Iriberri said that the plans to buy shore-based missile systems for the military have not been “scrapped”, just postponed. “It appears the project was scrapped”. It was not scrapped, we just requested that it would be moved in second horizon . He also contested criticism that priority has been given to internal security instead of external defense. And for this Ireberri suddenly requested for the realignment of the missile system project.
Iriberri wrote an undated letter to Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. seeking his approval to re-align the Shore-Based Missile System. He wants the SBMS to be replaced with the following items.
- Marksman Rifles
- Long Range Sniper Weapon Systems
- Night Fighting Sytems
- Body Armors
- Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear equipment
- Man Pack and VHF Radio
General Iriberri , also revealed that the supplier for the missiles is the same complainant in graft raps against him over deals that were scrapped between 2010 and 2012. He has been accused of blocking the procurement of shore-based missile because he would not be getting a commission from the deal.
The Shore-Based Missile System is an item identified for territorial defense to counter China’s threat and to internal security items for the army. The said project is a government-to-government negotiated deal.