Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte may soon be flying in a new luxurious jet. Reports say that the Philippine Air Force closed a contract with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation to purchase a new plane. Amid traffic woes, the government plans to use the plane for Duterte’s travels, as well as his VIPs.
The Philippines’ Defense Ministry confirmed the reports. Furthermore, they confirmed that the planes should be available by August 2020. Furthermore, the plane shall perform “command and control” duties for the President and his cohorts.
In a press conference, the Philippines’ Defense Minister defended the purchase and nature of the plane. Apparently, they feel irked that local media brands the plane as a luxury jet. He said that the plane is “a little more appointed than your average aircraft. But it will carry senior leaders so, of course, it’s designed to be a little more comfortable.”.
Duterte Critics Slam the Indifference of the Government
As expected, different sectors criticized the project amid the country’s transportation and traffic woes. Currently, Manila’s traffic figures as one of the worst in the world. In particular, commuters across the Philippines capital spend at least 4 hours travelling to and from destinations.
According to a report by the Asian Development Bank, Manila figures to be the most congested city in the entirety of Asia. With almost 2 million cars registered in the capital, only 3% are for public transport. Subsequently, the Philippines has the poorest train network in Southeast Asia.
The country reeks with corruption from its top officials to the lowly city councils. Once hailed as the 2nd greatest economy in Asia, the Philippines has since become a beggar state following the dictatorship of Duterte’s idol, corrupt Ferdinand Marcos. Unfortunately, the country has never got back up on its feet since then.
Duterte’s war on drugs has received a global backlash amid reports of extra-judicial killings, human rights violations, and shoot on sight policies of the national police.