PNP Maritime Group to get 22 high-speed boats
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG) is considering the boosting of its boat fleet with the expected delivery next year of 22 high-speed tactical watercraft.
The PNP-MG director, Brig. Gen. R’Win Pagkalinawan, told reporters at Camp Crame last week that his unit’s fleet was only composed of 174 water assets nationwide with most of the high-speed tactical boats deployed to Mindanao.
To guard coastal towns
Pagkalinawan pointed out that the tasking of the PNP-MG in Palawan and Tawi-Tawi was to counter human trafficking and smuggling activities in the area and support in counterterrorism operations in other parts of Mindanao.
“We have antiterrorism duties in Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Jolo, Sulu. Right now I deployed five tactical boats to Jolo in particular as support to the Army, Marines and the police regional and provincial mobile force company,” he said, adding that there were reports that lawless elements, particularly the Abu Sayyaf Group, have been escaping by boat from Sulu to other islands.
He said the PNP-MG has 35 high-speed tactical watercraft in its fleet, majority of which are in Mindanao.
“If we can, we want to provide every municipality, every police station a tactical boat,” he said, adding that there are 58 coastal provinces in the country composed of several coastal towns each needing water assets.
“If you want to guard all the [coastal] municipalities nationwide, each should have a boat with a complete crew made up of a minimum of four police personnel,” he said.
According to Paglinawan, he expected the completion and delivery of 22 high-speed tactical boats by March next year.
The boats are being built in a shipyard in Cebu. Each boat is worth P13.6 million.
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