The maritime police in Palawan said recently it will be taking an active role in the government’s anti-insurgency campaign.
2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group (2nd SOU-MG) commander P/Col. Ricardo Dalmacia said early this week that this means they will be strengthening their civil and maritime police partnership efforts intended to address the insurgency.
He said his leadership will work on preventing “belligerent actions” that can also impact on the tourism sector.
Unlike Southern Mindanao where their harbor patrols are focused on border security and counter-terrorism, Dalmacia said the province’s issue is “more on insurgency” that has the possibility to also carry out kidnap-for-ransom activities in popular destinations.
“Magka-iba ang setting nila. Kung sa Mindanao ay terrorism ang masyadong focus ay border security, dito sa Palawan ay pagtutuunan natin ang tourist influx dahil sa posibilidad ng kidnapping and other incidents. But I am assuring you na 100 percent na hindi mangyayari sa Palawan ‘yon kasi we have already fortified the borders in the South. ‘Yong Abu Sayyaf ay, actually, wala na,” he said.
He said Palawan remains to be generally peaceful compared to other places he had already handled in the MIMAROPA.
He said they continue to hold training activities to enhance their proficiency such as participating in the Baker Piston 19-2 with the U.S. Navy that kicked off on August 5 at their Maritime Headquarters in Barangay Sta. Lourdes.
Dalmacia said that the training aims to enhance maritime capability of the units during the enforcement.
“It is very helpful sa atin sa police as a whole kasi ang law enforcement capability natin ay madadagdagan, particularly sa mga new techniques and procedures na ituturo ng mga counterparts natin,” he said.
Baker Piston 19-2 will be composed of two batches where each will undergo a two-week training period. Participants will be from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and PNP Maritime.
Dalmacia said it will train them on several modules, including illegal drugs and human rights.
“Ang kagandahan pa nyan ay sabay kami ng PCG magti-training kaya made-develop ang interoperability natin at ‘yon talaga ang kailangan natin,” Dalmacia said.