Six new armored personnel carriers are presented at a demonstration in Capas, Tarlac. Photo by Aldrin Soriano, ABS-CBN News North Central Luzon
CAPAS, Tarlac - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Mechanized Infantry Division on Monday showed off its six new armored personnel carriers (APCs) at a demonstration in Capas, Tarlac.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin attended the demonstration, which saw the APCs firing off several rounds via remote control weapon system.
He denied that the new APCs are connected with the ongoing tensions with China over a territorial row in the West Philippine Sea.
"No, no, this is part of our modernization program, solely for modernization program," he said.
The new armored vehicles have thermal imaging, laser range tracking capability and quick targeting of moving targets.
"Yung gunner hindi na kailangang lumabas pa sa vehicle, kung hindi nasa loob, parang naglalaro na lang, and we could see the enemy in a longer range," said Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz, commander of the AFP Mechanized Infantry Division.
The AFP also procured new machine guns and telecommunication devices.
"Most probably these will be deployed yung iba sa Mindanao at yung iba sa Luzon. Ang majority kasi ng armored natin is in Mindanao and we'll be integrating this fleet of Army mobilities (sic) in Mindanao kasi meron tayong i-i-introduce na bagong doctrines doon sa ating mga batallion na nasa Mindanao, yun mga Mechanized Battalion natin," dela Cruz said.
Land exercises between Philippine and Malaysian military troops also concluded Monday. Soldiers who participated in the exercise performed a parachute landing during the closing ceremony.
A total of 30 Malaysian soldiers participated in the exercise.