The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday revealed that President Duterte agreed to use drones over rebel camps once the campaign against the terrorist rebels intensifies, Lt/Gen. Carmelito Santander, Chief of Army Strategic Command said.
Santander said that the military has listed at least 38 rebel camps on Mindanao that will be targeted during the first wave of its airstrike once the President issue a go order.
“It will be more efficient for us to use drones and a lot safer for our soldiers because we do not need a foot on the ground”, the general said.
The Philippine Army currently owns at least three Elbit Hermes 900 drones, while the Philippine Air Force have at least a dozen of Hermes 900 and 450 series. The drones were proven to be effective in the Battle of Marawi.
The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav (Star) is an Israeli medium size multi-payload Medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical missions. It is a sequel to the Hermes 450 series of drones, one of the most widely used military drones in the world.
The general said that Duterte was pretty angry on Friday after hearing that the New People’s Army strikes again in Maasin, Iloilo, killing at least 1 policeman and wounding several others.
“The military is hoping the President will order “no mercy” to this rebel group so we can exercise our full strength. Our drones will be aided by reliable intelligence on the ground and the camp will be monitored from the distance”, Santander said.
He also added that some soldiers who have families killed by NPA are excited to go to war against the local terrorist. – source