AFP RECEIVES 500 SOLDIERS' BODY ARMOR FROM US

Camp Aguinaldo, Jan. 23, 2003 - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has acquired 500 units of body armor from the United States through the controversial Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) which the US and the Philippines signed two months ago.

According to AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (J4) Maj. Gen. Cicero Castellano, the body armors were the first acquisition by the AFP from the US through the MLSA.

The acquisition of the body armors is part of the "goodies" from the US government through the MLSA, Castellano said during an interview in Camp Aguinaldo.

"We are trying to prove that the MLSA in an effective facility to procure for the use of our troops," he added.

Castellano, however, withheld other details of the procurement, including the armors' cost, pending the equipment's formal turn-over to the Philippine military tomorrow.

Castellano said the event would be graced by top Defense and military officials led by Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Dionisio Santiago.

The controversial agreement was signed by AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Plan and Programs (J8) Rear Admiral Ernesto de Leon and US Col. Matias Velasco last Nov. 21 in Camp Aguinaldo.


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