AFP: No need to deploy additional forces in Boracay
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday there is no need to deploy additional forces on Boracay Island to address possible threats during the government-imposed shutdown period.
“The PNP (Philippine National Police) has the lead role in the overall security responsibility in Boracay during its closure supported by the AFP. There is no need to deploy additional AFP forces in the island since there is enough troops on the ground,” said AFP Central Command commander Lt. Gen. Paul Atal.
The government has deployed around 600 personnel from the AFP, Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection in Boracay to secure the island during its 6-month closure that started Thursday.
The simulation exercises of security forces have been criticized by some as “overkill.” Others said the show of force was a contrast to the government’s timid response to China’s militarization in the South China Sea, especially in areas under the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
Atal said the first day of closure was “generally peaceful.”
While they are only on a supporting role, he said the military can easily shift its forces in Boracay if needed. /muf
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