Soldiers wear worn-out boots in combat to be able to fight with ease, not because they don't have anything better to wear.
Soldiers who are superstitious find old footwear lucky.
So said Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr., spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, after a picture of a Filipino soldier wearing worn-out boots in Zamboanga City was posted on the Internet.
"There was only one soldier who was photographed in that situation," Tutaan told reporters on the sidelines of Friday's Senate hearing on the proposed P121-billion budget for 2014 of the Department of National Defence.
The hearing, presided over by finance subcommittee chief Sen. Loren Legarda, ended with the defence budget getting endorsed for approval by the plenary.
Ease of movement
Tutaan said the soldiers had adequate support, but added that he himself would not wear new boots in combat if they tended to limit his movements.
"When I'm in a combat situation I wear something comfortable. I cannot wear brand-new boots or branded boots because when a fire fight [breaks out], I [won't be able to] move," Tutaan said.
Other soldiers, he said, continue to wear old boots, especially if the soldiers have gone through combat and survived.