PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan –The Philippine Coast Guard District (PCGD)-Palawan showed off Monday the recently acquired “anti-terrorism fast boat” that has the capability for night operation and with a mounted 30-caliber machine gun.
The rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) is part of the recently acquired high-speed fast boats and 44m class multi-role response vessels (MRRVs) from Japan by the Philippine government.
Commodore Allen T. Toribio, district commander of the PCGD in the province, said the fast boat has a speed of 40-60 knots (46.1-69.1 miles per hour), and a 350-horsepower engine with a fuel capacity of 320 liters.
He said the boat can deliver “dependability, style, and confidence when taking control of the coastal water,” adding that it can accommodate 12 anti-terrorist personnel of the PCGD who will ensure the safety of the province’s coastal zones against any threat from extremist groups like the Abu Sayyaf.
“We fitted it with a caliber 30 machine gun and we placed a personnel who can operate it. It can really act as anti-terrorism fast boat here in Palawan,” he said.
He said it was sent to the province two weeks ago by Coast Guard chief Admiral Elson Hermogino in fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte’s pledge to help the province in preventing the perpetration of terroristic activities.
It was a share of the donation of the Japanese government, which was requested by President Duterte for the PCG to have additional maritime assets, he said.
“Ano yan donated ng Japan government. Sometime ago, nag-request si President [Duterte] ng fast boats and they gave freely. Pito yan ang alam ko, at ang isa ay nabigay dito sa Palawan (It was donated by the Japan government. Sometime ago, President Duterte requested for fast boats and they gave freely. As far as I know, there are seven units and one was given to Palawan),” he said.
The anti-terrorism fast boats, he explained, has an apparatus to avoid running aground in shallow areas and has a propeller guard to get around coral heads.
He said the RHIB will be supported by some of the 44-meter MRRV class patrol vessels whose design and built were financed with the Japanese government’s support.
One of these is 4407 BRP “Sindangan,” which is already helping secure Palawan’s littoral areas.
“We will have floating assets dedicated to the east and west of Palawan, and we have so many aluminum boats, and this new asset that we are launching – the fast boat – this is for interdiction in our patrol,” he said.
Interdiction, he explained, as “it is fast, complete with navigational equipment and can operate at night with the 30 caliber firepower machine gun aside from the M16 rifles of the anti-terrorist personnel.”
Toribio urged the public to help the Coast Guard, the military, the police, and the provincial government in ensuring the province’s safety by being alert and vigilant, especially in seaside communities.
The launching of the anti-terrorism fast boat came a barely a week after the Abu Sayyaf threat to conduct kidnappings in Palawan was disclosed by the Palawan Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) on Aug. 11. (PNA)
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