Duterte to put presidential yacht on sale to fund war veterans, hospitals

MANILA, Philippines - Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte announced his plans to sell the presidential yacht, BRP Ang Pangulo, during an interview with reporters at Hotel Elena in Davao City on Sunday, May 15.

President Aquino inspects BRP Ang Pangulo.
President Aquino inspects BRP Ang Pangulo. PHOTO CREDIT: Balita.ph
According to the tough-talking mayor of Davao City, proceeds of the sale of the yacht will be given to war veterans and will be used for the improvement of hospital facilities as well as salaries for doctors.

Duterte also revealed that all choppers assigned to the 250th Presidential Airlift wing will be used as air ambulances.

As part of Japan’s war reparations to the Philippines, BRP Ang Pangulo was given to the Philippine government in 1959. It was first used by President Carlos P. Garcia.

The Japan-built ship was first named RPS Lapu-Lapu and was the flagship of the Philippine Navy until 1961.

It was later renamed after President Manuel Roxas upon the order of President Diosdado Macapagal to convert the vessel into a troop transport in 1962. Eventually, its name was changed to RPS The President.

President Ferdinand Marcos restored its use as the presidential yacht and renamed it BRP Ang Pangulo.

In an attempt to “do away with all the lavishness and extravagance” of the Marcos regime, President Corazon Aquino put up the ship on sale for US$5.5 million. However, it was not sold.

In 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo renamed the vessel BRP Pagasa after the vessel underwent repair.

President Benigno Aquino III restored the name of the presidential yacht to BRP Ang Pangulo in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Airlift Wing or the Bluebirds serves as the official carrier of the President as well as the members of the first family, VIPs and visiting dignitaries.

In April this year, presidential sister Kris Aquino came under fire for her use of the presidential chopper during campaign sorties for administration bet Mar Roxas II.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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