PNP eyes integration of marine units with PH Navy, Coast Guard

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

February 28, 2023, 10:44 am

<p><em>(Screengrab from PNP Facebook live video)</em></p>

(Screengrab from PNP Facebook live video)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is looking at the possibility of integrating its maritime units with the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine Coast Guard in a bid to strengthen the government’s maritime law enforcement capability.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said their maritime units' patrols will focus near the shorelines and help in the ongoing campaign against smuggling, human trafficking and other transnational crimes.

“We wanted to have a memorandum of understanding with them (PCG and Philippine Navy) to secure our waters against contrabands and including the campaign against human trafficking,” he told reporters on the sidelines after the presentation and blessing of newly procured PNP equipment at the PNP Grandstand in Camp Crame Monday.

He said the focus would be on the Philippine boundaries with Malaysia and Indonesia.

The borders in the southern part of the Philippines are considered as porous and are usually the routes of smuggling and human trafficking activities.

In the past, the Philippines' southern border is the usual route for international terrorists seeking refuge in the Philippines and has been the favorite route of the Abu Sayyaf Group in its kidnapping activities in Malaysia and Indonesia.

The PNP’s procurement of sea vessels, which is part of its modernization program, is currently focused on the western part of Mindanao.

Two high-speed watercraft were among the newly-procured equipment of the PNP that were blessed and presented on Monday.

PCG commandant Adm. Artemio Abu, who served as guest of honor and speaker of the event, vowed to work with the PNP in law enforcement activities.

“As the commandant of the PCG, it has been my advocacy to strengthen our partnership, coordination and collaboration with the stakeholders and other government agencies. It is our firm belief that by working together we achieve great things, that of enforcing the law and addressing lawless activities in the community and in achieving this end, we both believe that the whole is far more than the sum of its parts,” said Abu.

PH Navy welcomes foreign armed forces attachés 

Meanwhile, members of the Foreign Armed Forces Attachés (FAFA) Corps paid a visit to PN chief Vice Adm. Toribio Adaci at the PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila Monday.

The visiting delegation was headed by the Defense Attaché of Spain, Vice Dean Col. Javier Martin Gil, together with other defense and assistant defense attachés from China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Türkiye, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States, and Vietnam.

“We are working together to promote security and defense as we are also here to help strengthen the Armed Forces,” Gil said as he underscored the Corps' contribution in maintaining and enhancing diplomatic ties among countries.

Adaci acknowledged the PN's successful staff-to-staff engagements with FAFA Corps in the past, including proposals for exercises that materialized.

“These are the types of engagements that we are open to. It is nice to see you and also listen to all of you. I know you also have your message to us in the Navy and we hope to reciprocate suggestions from the Corps," he added.

Adaci also expressed his gratitude to the defense attachés for "protecting, developing and promoting the defense interest of your respective nations here in the Philippines."

"That is why I have continued to emphasize my command guidance in the importance of strengthening our partnerships with allies, in particular to the members of the FAFA Corps. May we continue to be committed to maintaining a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific region," he added. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)