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PNP plans to acquire two ‘attack’ choppers

The Philippine National Police said on Friday that it plans to purchase two attack helicopters to boost its capability against insurgents and terrorist. PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima said the military type attack choppers were originally included in its procurement list of armaments. He said the attack helicopters would be deployed as the primary tool of PNP’s elite units particularly by the Special Action Force. Purisima said he had already informed President Benigno Aquino III on the PNP’s plan to purchase the helicopters when the president visited Camp Crame on Tuesday during the symbolic distribution of the new Glock  pistols for policemen. “I have already conveyed the plan to President Aquino, but we have to evaluate thoroughly their procurement because of the high cost and the taxes that could be incurred,” Purisima said. Unlike in the armed forces, procured foreign armaments are tax-free as stipulated in the provisions of the modernization law, Purisima said. In his speech last Tuesday at Camp Crame, President Aquino said that Purisima had indeed informed him on the purchase of the helicopters which he said he may also approve. On top of two attack choppers, Purisima plans to add two more helicopters intended for disaster and relief operations and anti-criminality campaign in Metro Manila and other urban areas. Meanwhile, the Defense Department said it plans to immediately acquire two pairs of Korean-made FA50 Golden Eagle trainer jets so that their pilots can train on flying the aircrafts. “We are negotiating for the immediate delivery of a certain number out of the 12 we are going to procure. We are hoping we can get at least four so our pilots can start their training,” Fernando Manalo, undersecretary for Finance, Munitions, Installations and Materiel, told reporters in a news briefing at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. With Florante S. Solmerin
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