PNP maritime modernization to fight illegal drugs smuggling

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DAVAO CITY (February 18) — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Abayalde, said his organization has intensified its fight against illegal drug smuggling, through maritime modernization.

Albayalde revealed, they purchased a number of seacraft and patrol boats, along with the recruitment of new personnel and trained them for maritime operations.

The PNP modernization effort was unveiled following the discovery of P540-M worth of cocaine on the shores of Siargao, Dinagat in Surigao del Norte.

ALSO READ: http://newsline.ph/top-stories/2019/02/17/p540-m-cocaine-found-floating-on-siargao-dinagat-shores/

Abayalde on Saturday told reporters, “We are modernizing our maritime group. We have procurement last year and there will be a portion of our 2019 budget that will be allocated for the capability enhancement.”

“Notwithstanding our bilateral agreements with Indonesia and with Malaysia, there are continuous border patrols. It has dual purposes, against illegal drugs and against terrorism,” Albayalde said.

Earlier on, , Chief Supt. Rodelio Jocson, director of the PNP Maritime Group, said procurement of 28 gunboats have been approved last year with seven of them already delivered while the remaining 21 expected to be turned over this year.

Jocson said additional 18 gunboats will be also purchased this year to significantly improve the PNP’s maritime capability.

He said the PNP’s Maritime Group has also acquired several drones to bolster its operations against drug smugglers.

Despite the modernization of the maritime unit’s capabilities, Jocson admitted that guarding the country’s coastlines remain a big challenge.-Newsline with report from PNA

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