PNP MARITIME GROUP ACQUIRES 4 NEW POLICE PATROL BOATS
In an effort to bolster its capability in maritime law enforcement and security cooperation, the Philippine National Police (PNP) through its Maritime Group (MG), recently received from the US government, four (4) units of 31 – footer Police Patrol Boats (PPBs) in a turn-over and blessing ceremony last August 16, 2010 in Puerto Princesa City with PDG JESUS AME VERZOSA, CEO VI, Chief, PNP and US Ambassador HARRY K THOMAS, JR.
Currently moored near the recently-inaugurated Headquarters PNP MG Special Boat Unit (SBU) in Puerto Princesa City, these PPBs were manufactured by NAIAD in Rhode Island, USA. These PPBs are actually rigid hull buoyant boats (RHBBs) powered by twin mercury 250 HP verado engines with a top speed of 51 knots in nominal seas. The donation of these boats comes on the heels of the PNP’s initiative in implementing an over-all maritime security strategy in Southern Philippines against all criminal activities including narcotics trafficking, terrorism, piracy, smuggling, poaching and trafficking in persons.
PCSUPT FRANCISCO DON C MONTENEGRO, Director, PNP Maritime Group, notes that the PPBs are valuable water assets which the PNP MG SBU could use in the fight against terrorist, drug and human trafficking syndicates and smugglers. He adds that the Maritime Group is undergoing a continuous re-engineering and reinventing to be a more potent and effective national operational support unit of the PNP, sending several of its personnel to various trainings in maritime security and seaborne patrol operations including small craft law enforcement operations, patrol boat maintenance, patrol and interdiction techniques. Under his leadership, the Maritime Group has renewed its focus on the development and formulation of policies, protocol, procedures and standards of operation based upon accepted national and regional maritime policing models.
Strongly supported by various stakeholders in maritime security cooperation, the event, which features PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON “PNOY” AQUINO III as guest of Honor and Speaker with US Ambassador HARRY K THOMAS, JR representing the US government, aims to strengthen the commitment of the United States of America and the Philippine Government to the regional maritime security efforts in the Sulu Sulawesi Seascape (SSS). In a message read for him by HONORABLE JESSE M ROBREDO, Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government, President Aquino, citing the donation a blessing and a great boost to the country’s law enforcement capabilities, acknowledged the increasing complexity of the country’s maritime security challenges particularly the national government’s efforts to protect its national waters, shipping lanes and other maritime assets. Speaking on a platform of bringing the country towards national development and progress, the President underscored the urgent need for peace and security as well as for regional and international cooperation to address maritime security threats.
On the other hand, the Chief, PNP, PDG JESUS A VERZOSA, reiterating his sworn commitment that the PNP, under his watch, shall hit the ground running by enhancing police services where they matter most, noted that the police patrol boats would not only enhance the seaborne law enforcement capability of the PNP but radically transform the PNP’s maritime security strategies. Stressing the overarching importance of earning the trust and confidence of the maritime resources stakeholders, PDG VERZOSA, disclosed that the PNP shall listen and keep its lines open for inputs on how it can best address the myriad of maritime security threats to to protect, save and conserve our maritime wealth.